Recapping the New York Islanders’ 2017 Draft
Jun 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Islanders player Travis Hamonic arrives on the red carpet before the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders made a trade and drafted a couple of prospects at the lottery draft on Saturday.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: the Islanders aren’t going to be any better in the short-run because of Saturday’s draft.

That’s important to note because there had been speculation that the team would flip assets into established veterans. And that could still happen. But Garth Snow instead chose to build for the future, because it’s pretty darn tough to sustain success without any prospects (with the Rangers being the exception).

Here’s what the Isles did at the 2017 Draft:

TRADE: Travis Hamonic and a 2019 or 2020 fourth-round pick to Calgary for 2018 first-round pick, 2018 second-round pick and 2019 or 2020 second-round pick.

The Islanders parted with Travis Hamonic, a veteran defenseman who has proven invaluable over the years, to pick up some draft picks over the next couple of seasons.

Here’s the good part: Snow will have a considerable number of picks at his disposal next year. He could use them to either stock the farm or acquire a big-time talent. After Hamonic’s dreadful season, it’s impressive that he could turn him into three high picks.

Here’s the bad news: The Islanders’ defense will surely be softer after losing its most physically aggressive member. Even when he isn’t performing at the highest level, Hamonic still sets the tone of the game, because that’s his brand of hockey.

Robin Salo, D — Pick 46 (Round Two)

Salo, 18, was ranked everywhere from seventeen to one hundred in the pre-draft rankings. He spent the 2016-17 season with Vassan Sport (SM-Liiga), becoming a mainstay on the team’s top defensive pairing. He was Liiga’s top scoring rookie, and impressed with ‘responsible and effective defensive zone play.’

Benjamin Mirageas, D — Pick 77 (Round Three)

Mirageas, 18, split the 2016-17 with the Bloomington Thunder and Chicago Steel of the USHL. Committed to Providence College in 2018-19, he notched 2 goals and 17 assists last season. At 6’1”, 174 pounds, he has an ideal frame and good puck-moving ability.

Sebastian Aho, D — Pick 139 (Round Five)

Aho, 21, is a Swedish defenseman who coincidentally has the same name as a Hurricanes rookie. He was draft eligible in 2015, but went undrafted due to concerns about his size. Now 5’10” and 165 pounds, he’s produced at high enough of a rate to come off the board on the second day of the draft.

Arnaud Durandeau, LW — Pick 165 (Round Six)

Durandeau, 18, has two-way acumen and scoring potential. But he’s 5’10”, which is going to make it awfully difficult for him to make it to the NHL. A member of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, he notched 15 goals and 20 assists last season.

Logan Cockerill, LW — Pick 201 (Round Seven)

Cockerill, 18, is even smaller than Durandeau, if that’s even possible. At 5’8”, he’s one of the shortest prospects in the league. Committed to Boston U for the upcoming season, he posted 10 points in 16 games for the US National Development Team.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.