UNIONDALE, NY – The New York Islanders finally passed the playoff barometer and gave the Pittsburgh Penguins all they could handle before bowing out if the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Still, the Islanders made great strides. The future actually looks bright rather than bleak.
Eventually the Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn but for now Long Island will get to enjoy a team on the rise. Eastern Conference beware, this team might be in for a long playoff run. John Tavares became a leader and elite player in the league in need of fresh blood. The upcoming NHL Entry Draft will help New York add another piece to their amazing puzzle. Let’s take a look at who they might take with the 15th overall pick.
The Islanders were 7th in offense, 21ST in defense, 19th in face-offs, 11TH on the power play, and 21ST in penalty killing. Five players had 10 or more goals led by Tavares (28). Other than Matt Moulson (15) the left wing position wasn’t very offensive. Nino Niederreiter is waiting in the wings along with John Persson so things aren’t so bleak at first sight.
On defense, despite being poor on the backend, the Islanders have quite a crop of quality d-men in the system. Griffin Reinhart has a ton of potential and could a staple on the blueline for years to come. Despite trading away Mark Streit, who will be 36 during the season, the Islanders might be better off being younger in what has become a kids league.
The Islanders will most likely go for the best player available regardless of position. Goaltender will most likely be where they go since none of them have been taken in PHN’s mock draft. If that’s the same expect to hear the following announcement come draft day.
“The New York Islanders are proud to select, from the Halifax Mooseheads, goaltender Zach Fucale.”
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