Last night, the Islanders finished up their rebuilding through the draft by selecting future LW Michael Dal Colle with the 5th overall pick. To restate in my previous blog, he was a missing piece to an already good crop of players drafted by Islanders General manager Garth Snow. Also mentioned in my last piece, I did say to look for the Isles to trade the two second round picks and get another first rounder. Snow did not disappoint me. In fact, he exceeded my expectations. I originally thought that Jakob Vrana (Picked very high by the Washington Capitals) would be around the low 20’s or that Brendan Lemieux could be taken away. Instead Garth one upped me by taking rising, yet unpredictable star Josh Ho-Sang.
In my opinion from what I was reading about him the last few weeks, Josh is one of the most highly skilled players in draft. He’s one of the top OHL scorers and he really hasn’t had a lot of support from the rest of his team. He should’ve been in the World Junior Championships, but was never given an invite. I’m not going to lie, he has all the offensive tools to dominate a game. He reminds me of Nazim Kadri after going to Starbucks and ordering a double espresso. What he needs to work on is his defensive game. He at times can be out of position or outmuscled by other players. At 5’11” and roughly 166lbs, Ho-Sang just needs to mature, as a hockey player and as a person. As far has his defensive woes go, they are improving, but I believe someone once said “You can teach a scorer to check, you can’t teach a checker to score.” If Ho-Sang matures and pans out, he and his buddy Dal Colle will be future cornerstones for this Islanders team.
Day two of the draft is today and If there’s one player who can bridge the gap between Dal Colle and Taylor Cammarata on the left wing side, it’s Edgars Kulda, a left winger and former teammate of Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings. If drafted, he would immediately go to Bridgeport and can add some scoring while Dal Colle and Cammarata develop in Junior/College.
After him, I’d expect a few college players drafted by the Islanders, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Isles made a trade or two. I’ll have a complete wrap up of the draft tomorrow. Have fun.