The NY Islanders rocket up Hockey Prospecting rankings after stellar NHL draft

2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The 2024 Draft Class is already impacting the New York Islanders, at least in terms of how the team's prospect pool is perceived. After drafting a player in the first round for the first time since 2019, the Islanders shot up eight spots in the rankings from Hockey Prospecting and are now ranked 23rd in the NHL, up eight spots from the last time the rankings were published.

Much of this is due to how high Byron Bader, the creator of Hockey Prospecting, is on the team's first-round pick, Cole Eiserman. Bader called Eiserman the "best shooter in the class" after GM Lou Lamoriello selected him 20th overall. "Players that look like this very rarely miss the NHL, " Bader added. "And there's a good chance Eiserman develops into a star."

The eight spot jump in the rankings was tied with the Calgary Flames for the most in the league.

Bader has Eiserman, D Calle Odelius, D Samuel Bolduc, F Kamil Bednarik, selected 61st in the draft, and F William Dufour as the team's top five skaters. The top five "star rank" is 18th amongst all teams. This list doesn't include D Isaiah George, F Matthew Maggio, F Alex Jefferies, and last year's top pick, Danny Nelson, all of whom the organization is high on. Bolduc still qualifies as a prospect despite spending almost all season with the Islanders last year.

Interestingly, the position the Islanders ranked highest on was goaltending, finishing 9th amongst all teams. The team drafted goaltenders Dmitry Gamzin and Marcus Gidlof, both of which Bader believes have upside. 2020 7th-round pick Henrik Tikkanen is expected to get more time between the pipes at Bridgeport this season after posting a 2.10 GAA in 18 games.