Although 15 doesn’t sound like a fantastic spot, the New York Islanders can certainly still find a solid player in the middle of the round.
Seeing the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers get a top-three pick in the lottery really sucked. The initial gut reaction was why couldn’t the ping pong balls bounce in the New York Islanders favor?
After a night to sleep on it and a morning of scrolling through twitter they may have roped me back into believing they can still find a solid player outside the top five.
Check out this Arthur Staple tweet:
Before you cue up the sad Charlie Brown music, #Isles fans, their four best prospects: Barzal (No. 16), JHS (28), Beau (28), Pulock (15).
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) April 30, 2017
He’s right, the New York Islanders have gotten some pretty nice pieces in the middle to late first round in recent history. Ryan Pulock was taken at the same slot they sit in now back in 2013 and he looks like he can be a solid player in this league (if ever given the chance).
In 2014 they came away with Josh Ho-Sang at the end of the first round and we just saw his potential at the end of the season this year and how good he can be. Then there’s the 2015 selections Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier.
Barzal taken in the middle of the first round and Beau taken at the end of the first round, both played at the NHL level this year. Barzal for a much shorter time obviously but both will likely be on the roster this season and be impactful.
You could make the argument that they’ve gotten better value from their mid to late first round selections than their top picks in recent history. In 2012 the Isles selected Griffin Reinhart with the number four overall pick.
The guys a bum, he hasn’t played at the NHL level since 2015-2016 where he played just 29 games with the Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders traded Reinhart just three years after selecting him on draft day. They used the pick in return for Barzal, that’s a steal.
Then you have Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Strome who were taken fifth overall in 2010 and 2011. Nino never panned out with the Isles and they traded him for Cal Clutterbuck, while Strome had a solid rookie campaign and has regressed ever since.
I’m not completely giving up on Strome but I would still say that Barzal, Pulock and Ho-Sang are better prospects than Strome at this point.
The point of this isn’t to highlight poor Garth Snow selections, as mad as it might make you, it’s to show that you can still get some value in the middle to late first round. History has proven it.