Yes, NY Islanders fans, Cole Eiserman was the NHL Draft’s biggest steal in Round 1

There was no way the NY Islanders were selecting Cole Eiserman last night…or at least that wasn’t the case until they did.

2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Candice Ward/GettyImages

When the NY Islanders selected Cole Eiserman last night, my jaw dropped, and that’s no exaggeration. Eiserman wasn’t going No. 20 to the Isles; he would likely end up going No. 5 overall to the Montreal Canadiens. 

Then Ivan Demidov dropped, and the Habs picked him up. After that, we saw some intriguing picks like Tij Iginla, Berkly Catton, Zayne Parekh, Anton Silayev, Sam Dickinson, Zeev Buium, and Konsta Helenius, among others, find homes. There were also some picks that raised eyebrows, like Michael Brandsegg-Nygard to the Detroit Red Wings, Terik Parascak to the Washington Capitals, and Sacha Boisvert to the Chicago Blackhawks.

To be real, I liked those “eyebrow raisers,” but with Cole Eiserman on the board, I’m not going to praise those picks. You had the NHL Draft’s best scorer on the board, and despite the fact that he’s rather one-dimensional, I wanted to tell these front offices, “What were you thinking?”

NY Islanders made one of the best moves of the 2024 NHL Draft

Heading into the draft, I was a big fan of Igor Chernyshov, and I even had the forward falling to them in one of my mock drafts. But if it came between picking a prolific scorer or a future middle-six player, especially for a team that lacks an adequate prospect pool, this was an easy, smart decision. 

We need to applaud general manager Lou Lamoriello for taking Cole Eiserman, someone who should be on Long Island sooner than you think, but not before at least a short stint with the Boston University Terriers. 

Sure, Eiserman must develop other areas of his game, but even if that never becomes the case, Islanders fans should rest assured that they have an outstanding scorer in the system. One they will be more than excited to watch once he turns pro and scores the way he did not only with the USNTDP, but also at Boston U, because he’s going to put the puck in the back of the net often.