The New York Islanders did not move up in this weekend’s NHL Draft Lottery, but does the 15th overall pick have value in a trade that can land another scorer?The draft lottery for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft brought quite a few surprises as the New Jersey Devils won the first overall pick. In addition, the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars round out the top three selections as opposed to those teams with the higher odds based on where they finished the regular season. Those teams are the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and the Arizona Coyotes along with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
The Avalanche slipped down to four, followed by the Canucks at five, Golden Knights at six and the Coyotes at seven in the order. The New York Islanders remained at number 15 where the lottery odds projected they would most likely remain. With unexpected movement for teams on the draft board who are rebuilding in the cases of Colorado and Vancouver and in the case for the Golden Knights building from scratch, could one of these teams look to call Islanders General Manager Garth Snow about acquiring the 15th overall pick?
Back in February, the Avalanche were looking to shop Matt Duchene to help begin the rebuilding project and seeing the return they can get. The Islanders expressed interest at the time but it didn’t result in anything as he finished the season with Colorado but the idea of moving Duchene could come again over the next few weeks leading up to the draft. The question the Islanders would have to ask themselves is how much would it cost them now to do it opposed to what was discussed in February? The other factor is what will be lost from the roster once the Golden Knights expansion draft takes place?
Both of these questions could determine the value for Duchene in a trade if he is placed on the market and if the Islanders feel it is worth moving a draft pick for him. The Islanders need another big time scorer to pair with John Tavares and a guy like Duchene could fit the bill. Tavares and Duchene were both drafted in 2009 with Tavares going first overall to the Islanders and Duchene went third in that draft to the Avalanche. The Canucks are another team looking to add young assets but they really don’t have a player on the roster worth the Islanders trading a top 15 draft choice. The same could be said for the Coyotes unless they decide to move on from a player such as Anthony Duclair.
In recent years the Islanders have done well drafting forwards who have big time scoring skills (Josh Ho-Sang, Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, and Kieffer Bellows). After missing the playoffs this past season it might be time for Garth Snow to approach this 2017 draft a little differently if an opportunity to add a big time player whether it’s Duchene or someone else that becomes available to them late next month.