First off, Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there. Second, congrats to the Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings for winning two out of the last three years. But with the completion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs means it’s time for the draft articles to begin. I personally enjoy doing this because it gives me a better chance at remembering some of these players when they make it to the NHL. From2008-2011, I’ve only gotten John Tavares & Calvin de Haan (Thought he was going to be the first pick in the second round) correct. Islanders General Manager Garth Snow & I just didn’t see eye to eye. However, I have gotten on a winning streak of sorts by picking Griffin Reinhart & Ryan Pulock the last two years.
Here’s how I go about predicting (educated guessing) the Islanders draft pick: First, I have to look at the Islanders and say: “Okay, I see this team already full of players under contracts, so this draft pick likely won’t see the Isles for at least 2 years. So I believe Garth when he says that he has a 3-5 year projection on picks.
Second, I look at the prospects already in the organization and I look at where the Isles are a little thin at certain positions. Doesn’t matter if they’re in Bridgeport or on the Island, if the junior or college prospects are short in a certain position, that’s where I’m looking.
Third, I’m always reading and listening to the latest news about the draft. We all know Garth likes to keep his cards close, but that doesn’t mean other teams are not speaking up. For example: Last year, many mock drafts had the Isles picking Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks) with last years pick with a week to go before the draft. Everyone was correct until I found out that Horvat was not going less than 10th. So I dropped him from my rankings and Ryan Pulock moved up.
Now sticking with my third way of picking, this year is going to be particularly tough because the Florida Panthers have already been open to trading their first overall pick and possibly trading down. Could I see the Islanders trading up or down this year? Definitely. They have the players to trade up and if they wish to accumulate more picks this year, they could certainly trade down. Could they package the pick for an established player? Yes. Anything is possible with the Isles this year.
So for now, let’s assume that the Isles do intend on drafting someone this year. Who could it be? For this article I’m going to list the 10+ players that could/should go in the top 10 in this years draft. Like I did last year, I will have a preview of each player every day leading up to the draft and then on Friday morning of the 27th, I’ll make my prediction. As the days go by, I’ll have a top 10 Ranking of who I believe the Isles will pick. So for example, do I see the Isles drafting top defenseman Aaron Ekblad? No, so he’ll be ranked 9th or 10th. Michael Dal Colle appears to be the favorite at number 5, so his ranking will be higher.
Here are the Top 10 players for this Isles Talk Draft Preview
1. Michael Dal Colle F
2. William Nylander C
3. Nikolaj Ehlers F
4. Leon Draisaitl C
5. Nick Ritchie LW
6. Sam Bennet C
7. Jake Virtanen RW
8. Sam Reinhart C
9. Aaron Ekblad D
There’s a mess right now for a few trying to get into the top 10: Kasperi Kapanen, Brendan Perlini, Kevin Fiala and Haydn Fleury to name a few. When I can get a better indication of who could take it, I’ll put them in and move them up in the rankings.
So I hope you enjoy reading the previews and if there’s a player you would like me to look up and get some info on, just leave a replay. Here we go!!!