The New York Islanders can go in a number of directions at the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24-25.The New York Islanders enter the 2016 NHL Draft with the luxury of not having to focus on a specific position.
Following an historic campaign, the team can retool their farm system with any of the talented teenagers available when the team is on the clock with the nineteenth pick.
New York owns a pick in every round minus the second (Johnny Boychuk trade), third (Michal Neuvirth trade) and fifth (swapped fifths with Florida in 2015). They possess the 19th, 109th, 169th, 192nd and 199th selections.
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The Isles have a dearth of goaltending prospects, but have lost depth on the blueline via call-up’s and trades. The next wave of forwards appear poised to compete for a spot during training camp.
Snow will have his hands full with free agency, meaning that Ken Morrow, Director of Pro Scouting, might have a more visible role. Wishful thinking, but could Josh Bailey and Mikhail Grabovski be on their way out?
The Isles have been linked to guys like Charles McAvoy (D, US-U18), Logan Stanley (D, Windsor), Max Jones (LW, London) and Luke Kunin (C, Wisconsin). There’s not much of a consensus due to Snow’s unpredictability and deviousness.
With the graduations of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, and the trade of Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers, the Isles could restock their blueline. With Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin likely leaving in free agency, the team could also use an offensive-minded or big-bodied forward.
Snow has been a wheeler-dealer in the past, not hesitating to move up for a player the team likes. As far as selecting players goes, Snow has wielded his first round pick on both forwards and defensemen.
Mathew Barzal enjoyed a career-season with the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), and could challenge for a roster spot — just a year after he was selected sixteenth overall. Be on the lookout for Anthony Beauvillier, another member of Barzal’s draft class who had a promising 2015-16 campaign in the QMJHL.
A 6th-round pick in 2013, Alan Quine had a tremendous season for Bridgeport (AHL) before playing a critical role for the big league squad at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs.
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Pulock made waves in April when he arrived in the NHL just a couple of years after being selected in the first round. Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield also received brief stints, with Quine and Shane Prince (acquired via a trade with Ottawa) joining them.
The Isles’ recent top picks
2015: Mathew Barzal, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Anthony Beauvillier, LW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
2014: Michael Dal Colle, LW, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
2013: Ryan Pulock, D, Islanders
2012: Griffin Reinhart, D, Oilers
2011: Ryan Strome, C, Islanders