The 2014 NHL Draft for the NY Islanders was a mixture of letdowns at the top of the draft and significant finds in the middle rounds. While some highly drafted players faded out of the league quickly, mid-round draft picks have significantly impacted the organization during their time in the NHL.
With hindsight being 20/20, we look back to 2014 and redraft for the Islanders to create the ideal outcome nine years into the future.
Original Pick: Michael Dal Colle (5th Overall)
New Pick: David Pastrnak (25th Overall, Boston Bruins)
Struggling to make the lineup as a former fifth-overall pick, Michael Dal Colle was a complete bust for the Islanders. Appearing in only 112 games in blue and orange, MDC flamed out of the NHL following the 2021-22 season, now attempting to resurrect his career with TPS of Liiga in Finland.
Selected 20 picks later was David Pastrnak, one of the elite goal scorers in the game today. It's hard to fault Garth Snow for missing out on Pasta, as 19 other GMs passed on the Czech sniper. Finishing second in the NHL this past season with 61 goals, Pastrnak could have been the winger the franchise has been in search of.
Original Pick: Josh Ho-Sang (28th Overall)
New Pick: Adrian Kempe (29th Overall, LA Kings)
Trading up to select Josh Ho-Sang at the end of round one, the former Windsor Spitfire became a lightning rod within the franchise from day one. When on the ice, Ho-Sang found success offensively, but staying on the ice was his problem, as off-ice issues kept him from the Islanders lineup. Playing in just one game this season in the KHL with Slavat Yulaev Ufa, Ho-Sang has been battling injuries since leaving North America.
Adrian Kempe has become a dependable, scoring winger for the LA Kings - taking a bit longer to develop. Leading the LA Kings, scoring 41 goals this year and 35 a season before, Kempe never scored more than 16 in his previous five seasons.
Original Pick: Ilya Sorokin
New Pick: Ilya Sorokin (78th Overall, NY Islanders)
It took six years for him to debut with the Islanders, but selecting Ilya Sorokin in the third round will go down as arguably the best pick of Snow's tenure as Isles GM. Named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy this year, Sorokin has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL and will continue to be the organization's backbone well into the future.
Original Pick: Linus Soderstrom
New Pick: Viktor Arvidsson (112th, Nashville Predators)
There was a time when Linus Soderstrom was considered to be on par with Sorokin regarding who was the franchise's top goaltending prospect. Making it only as far as the ECHL in North America, Soderstrom returned to Europe, where he's found success. In his first year back in Sweden this past season, the 6'4" netminder finished second in the league in both GAA and SV%.
Having immediate success and appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Nashville Predators, Viktor Arvidsson dropped to the 4th round in 2014 and has notched two 30-goal seasons in his NHL career. Now a member of the Kings, Arvidsson could have been a future top-six winger with the Isles.
Original Pick: Devon Toews
New Pick: Devon Toews (108th Overall, NY Islanders)
It's hard to argue that the puck-moving defenseman who spent two seasons with the Isles wasn't a steal in the fourth round. A victim of the salary cap, Devon Toews was moved to the Colorado Avalanche for two second-round draft picks, as the former Quinnipiac Bobcat has been paired with Cale Makar and now has a Stanley Cup ring to his name.
Original Pick: Kyle Schempp
New Pick: Victor Olofsson (181st Overall, Buffalo Sabres)
After his draft year, Kyle Schempp played two more seasons in the NCAA with Ferris State University before debuting with the Islanders. After two seasons of struggling to find the score sheet, Schempp spent one more year in the Islanders organization down in the ECHL, now playing in that same league with the Idaho Steelheads.
Selected in the seventh round, Victor Olofsson has seen time on the top line and the powerplay in his four seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. A 28-goal season this year was a career-high for the Swede now on the cusp of scoring 30 next year.
Original Pick: Lukas Sutter
New Pick: Jacob Middleton (210th by LA KIngs)
Following his WHL career, Lukas Sutter (member of the Sutter hockey lineage) played one season in the organization between the AHL and ECHL. Now playing in the Sask West Hockey League (SWHL), Sutter has been a nomad around the hockey world throughout Canada.
Selected as Mr. Irrelevant being the final pick in the draft, Jacob Middleton has carved out a solid career in the NHL. Traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Minnesota Wild at the 2022 trade deadline, Middleton is now part of the Wild's nightly roster.