Continuing with the organization's recent trend of taking overage players in the NHL Draft, the NY Islanders have selected 20-year-old center Justin Gill from the Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) with the 17th pick (No. 145 overall) of the fifth round.
Playing on a quality Sherbrooke team in the QMJHL this season, Gill finished with 93 points (44 goals, 49 assists), good enough for second on his team and ninth in the league. Gill spent most of the season playing on one of the QMJHL's top lines alongside the 37th overall pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ethan Gauthier, and Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy.
At 6'1" and 190 lbs, Gill is built to endure the bumps and bruises that come with a lengthy schedule. As evident by his production, Gill is an efficient scorer who sees the ice particularly well. It's challenging to categorize Gill as above average in any specific skill set but he manages to do nearly everything well. His best attribute would be his hockey sense. He can see the ice well while operating a step or two ahead of the opposition.
On the defensive end of the ice he's typically positioned well but can find himself drifting as the puck moves cross-ice. He typically has an active stick but it can be garnered useless if he finds himself meandering out of the play.
Playing as one of the league's oldest players, the question is bound to arise if Gill's production was the result of his age and physical maturity compared to the rest of the league. It's difficult to say, as players like Matthew Maggio and William Dufour have proven that the COVID pandemic has affected the development of countless players.
Gill was traded a few weeks ago to the Bai-Comeau Drakkar, where he'll play in 2023-24. There's a chance he could sign his ELC with the Islanders and join the team in Bridgeport, but he'll finish out his junior career before transitioning to the professional game.