The Islanders, for the first time in a long time, are not a joke of an organization. The Isles have two great out-going owners who are not cheap with their money, an experienced GM, and a Stanley Cup winning head coach.
There was a lot of speculation going into draft day about the potential trades that could be made during the course of the night.
Probably the biggest including a three-way trade inluding the Sabres’ Ryan O’Rielly, Canadians forward Max Pacioretty and the Islanders top picks in the draft. The Isles would get Pacioretty in this deal. Lou, however thought the two draft picks would have a higher value than that and declined the trade which, at the end of the night, was a smart decision.
I believe the Islanders had a great draft class this year. A couple of top 10 prospects that fell to the Islanders picks at 11 and 12.
Oliver Wahlstrom is a 6″1′ right winger who won gold and silver with the USA national junior team. He was recently praised for his spectacular goal at the Islanders Blue&White scrimmage where he went through the entire team and sniped top corner. He was brought onto NHL Tonight to have an interview on the goal. I cant wait until he becomes a key part to this team.
With the 12th pick, the Isles selected defenseman Noah Dobson. He recently won the Memorial Cup with Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL. He had 3 goals and 10 assists in 20 playoffs games that year. Not only can he produce offense, but he’s also a solid defender which the Isles could really use in years to come.
Under The Radar Picks
The Isles next pick was defenseman Bode Wilde who dropped out of the first round of the draft. He led all United States National Team defenseman in goals, assists and points last season. Although he dropped out of the first round, there is still a lot of potential.
The Islanders must really like prospects from the US National development team because they picked yet another player from their roster. That would be center Jake Pivonka who only had 18 points last season for the team but is going to Notre Dame to play a year of college hockey which should really help his development.
Blue & White Scrimmage
Obviously eyes were all on the Islanders new draft picks going into the scrimmage and they didn’t disappoint. There were fantastic goals, including Wahlstroms’ and plus some in the shootout.
Keiffer Bellows also looked strong in the scrimmage and I hope that he makes the Islanders roster this year because we could really use his big body up front and if Tavares leaves, it will maybe open up the spotlight for some other players.
Also, another important note is that Michael Dal Colle still is yet to become a NHL ready player and probably will never be.
The Islanders lucked out with some quality players and I believe Lou made the right decision in keeping them instead of trading them away. However, the starting goalie position is now open and Lou didn’t acquire anyone at the draft to fill that void.
There is still a lot to be done for the Isles but they are in the right direction and I am hopeful that Lou will pull something out of his bag of tricks.