Drafting Skills: New York Islanders

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

New York Islanders

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Strome (C) 5th overall – Strome is a curious case, as he’s had stretches of exceptional play, and also been demoted to the AHL level as recent as the 2015-2016 season. The biggest issue here is that he was drafted top 5, in a draft where he now ranks 18th in scoring. He’s been passed by over a dozen players in terms of current worth, and struggles to find time on the top unit in NY. This looks like a bad pick for the Islanders at this point.

Round 2 – Scott Mayfield (D) 34th overall – Mayfield is another player who has been passed over by players drafted behind him. He’s played in only 36 games at the NHL level, and hasn’t been all that impressive at the AHL level. It’s tough to imagine Mayfield becoming an everyday defenseman.

Round 2 – Johan Sundstrom (C) 50th overall – Sundstrom played a total of 11 games before heading back to Sweden 2 years ago. He’s put up some impressive stats there, but in his last full AHL season he only had 19 points in 72 games. Yet another player in this draft that turned out to be a disappointment for the Islanders. The other bad part is that the Islanders traded away Wisniewski, who played in 266 NHL games after this trade.

Round 3 – Andrey Pedan (D) 63rd overall – Another miss, with only 13 NHL games played. Pedan is now in the Vancouver organization, but will never likely make the jump to the NHL. Bad news? Vincent Trocheck was taken directly after him. Yikes.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Griffin Reinhart (D) 4th overall – Reinhart has been a massive bust. Somehow, the Islanders were able to flip Reinhart to the Oilers (shocker) for a 1st and 2nd in 2015 (Mathew Barzal), and the Islanders flipped the 2nd round pick to get a 2nd 1st rounder (Beauvillier). I will never understand this trade by Edmonton (among many others).

Round 2 – Ville Pokka (D) 34th overall – Pokka has yet to make his NHL debut, despite being drafted 5 years ago. He was traded to Chicago in the package that brought in Nick Leddy, which has turned out to be great for the Islanders, so I’ll give them a pass on this pick. But in reality, it’s a bad pick.

Round 3 – Adam Pelech (D) 65th overall – Pelech played the majority of this year at the NHL level. He didn’t have much of an impact on the scoring sheet, and the Isles would likely want to upgrade him going into next year, but he will come into camp next year with the probability of making the team. Not bad for a 3rd round pick.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Pulock (D) 15th overall – Pulock took a step back this year, like a lot of the current Islanders. He played in 1 game at the NHL level, but scored 46 points in 55 AHL games. I can’t imagine a scenario where he’s not on the opening day roster of an NHL team next year.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Anaheim for Lubomir Visnovsky. He never excelled in NY, but played fairly consistently for the Islanders. The pick was used on Nick Sorensen, who just made his pro debut this year (22 pts in 48 AHL games).

Round 3 – Eamon McAdam (G) 70th overall – This pick was brough in as part of the Cal Clutterbuck for Nino Niederreiter. McAdam played parts of this year in the AHL and ECHL, posting better numbers in the ECHL. He’s 22 years old, and likely needs to prove himself at the AHL level for a full season if he ever expects to make the jump to the NHL.

Round 3 – Taylor Cammarata (C) 76th overall – Cammarata just finished his 4th year in the NCAA, but didn’t put up impressive numbers. He scored only 5 goals in 34 games, and only hit double digits goals once in his 4 years there. I can’t imagine Cammarata being a legitimate prospect for the Islanders.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Michael Dal Colle (LW) 5th overall – Dal Colle is shaping up to be a bust just like Reinhart. He has yet to play an NHL game, and only managed 41 points in 75 AHL games. He was taken 5th overall! Taken behind him in the draft: William Nylander, Dylan Larkin, David Pastrnak, Nikolaj Ehlers, Viktor Arvidsson, Robby Fabbri, etc, etc, etc. This is another massive miss for the Islanders.

Round 1 – Josh Ho-Sang (RW) 28th overall – The Isles got this extra pick by trading their 2nd round pick in this draft, and another 2nd round in this draft that they had previously obtained. Ho-sang has been labelled as a prospect with an attitude, but this year he finally made his NHL debut. He put up 10 points in 21 games, and looked more and more comfortable as his time went on. He should be riding shotgun to Tavares next year, and could put up big numbers. This was a nice pick for the Islanders after missing on Dal Colle.

Round 3 – Ilya Sorokin (G) 78th overall – Sorokin is growing into the goaltender of the future for NY. He put on a show in the KHL this year, with 5 shutouts in 39 starts, with a GAA of 1.61 and a SV% of 0.929. In 2015-2016, he had 10 shutouts in 28 games, with a GAA of 1.06 and a SV% of 0.953. He has been a beast. What a steal in the 3rd round!

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mathew Barzal (C) 16th overall – This is comical, the Islanders traded Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for this pick, and a 2nd round pick that they used to get another 1st round pick. So that’s two picks for a player who didn’t play a single game at the NHL level this year, 4 years after being drafted 4th overall! Meanwhile, Barzal looks to be a steal at 16th overall. He played 2 games before being sent to the WHL, where he put up 79 points in 41 games. He has incredible playmaking ability, and will make the team out of camp next year. He will immediately make an impact for the Islanders.

Round 1 – Anthony Beauvillier (LW) 28th overall – The Islanders actually gave up their own pick to the Sabres in this round in sending out Matt Moulson – which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. They received this pick from the Lightning in giving up a 2nd and 3rd rounder. Beauvillier made his NHL debut this year, suiting up for 66 games. He didn’t light the lamp much (24 points), but showed high-end skill at times. He played minutes with John Tavares on the top line, and played down in the lineup as well. This was a great experience for the youngster, a year after scoring 40 goals in 47 games in the QMJHL. He will likely see an increased role next year, and is an important part of the future in NY.

Round 3 – Mitchell Vande Sompel (D) 82nd overall – He finished up his final junior year, with 16 points in 30 games. He’s a small defenceman at 5’10”, but skates well. He will need a couple years adjusting to playing against men before he has any chance of making the big club.

I would classify the Islanders as a poor drafting team. Other than this past draft, they’ve missed on MANY of their picks. Not to mention their free agency signings, this team needs an overhaul. They’ve had plenty of chances to add quality players and seem to nearly always miss.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm