Islanders general manager Garth Snow has had his successes and failures, but the biggest example of the former is the Anders Lee selection.
It’s imperative to give credit where credit is due.
Sure, we’ve been giving Garth Snow a tough time for his numerous miscues — his mishandling of the goalies, failure to re-sign any free agents and inability to own up to his mistakes.
That being said, he’s pretty much like every other general manager ever (okay, maybe not Mike Milbury): he wins some, he loses some. There’s no better example of the former than Anders Lee, the 2009 sixth-round pick who has blossomed into a stud — scratch that, a star — for the Islanders.
Lee, 26, actually has more goals this season than Kyle Okposo, the prolific goal scorer who left Long Island for greener (and snowier) pastures this summer. It’s something Snow and his staff identified before almost everyone else: with his size and hand-eye coordination, Lee could be a star.
Of course, the later rounds are typically crapshoots. Because of that, one could argue that Snow didn’t have much clout over the selection. But let’s be consistent here: you can’t complain about Snow missing on late-round picks and not give him credit for the Lee selection.
“Lee has been Snow’s most impressive pick,” an Atlantic Division scout told me. “Sure, [John] Tavares is a star, but that was the obvious selection. The sixth round isn’t quite that surefire.”
Snow has sort of a mixed track record when it comes to the draft. He’s been praised for certain things — dealing Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton, for example — and ridiculed for others — i.e. the Ryan Strome and Josh Bailey selections.
When it comes to the later rounds, Lee is one of few to have made it to the pros. Other notables include Matt Martin (fifth round, 2008), Jared Spurgeon (sixth round, 2008) and Casey Cizikas (fourth round, 2009).
News and Notes
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Ryan Strome left Wednesday night’s Rangers game with an upper-body injury (wrist area). He’s expected to be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, and if the Isles don’t go deep in the playoffs, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports that it’s over for Strome in 2016-17.
The Isles finally called up Jaroslav Hálak on Thursday, after the veteran netminder spent nearly three months in Bridgeport. We’ve discussed this topic at length, but our rationale behind calling up Hálak was always straightforward: he’s thriving, and Jean François-Bérubé isn’t.
The Isles defeated the Rangers behind the strong play of Thomas Greiss and Joshua Ho-Sang. Let’s talk about the later for a second: say what you want about his prior ‘transgressions,’ but this kid is a budding star. He’s fast, nifty and possesses outstanding vision. He looks like the real deal.