Even without a first-round pick, the Islanders were able to add quality to the organization.
2 (54) – Aatu Räty, C
3 (93) – Tristan Lennox, G
4 (125) – Cameron Berg, C
5 (157) – Eetu Liukas, F
6 (189) – Aleksi Malinen, D
7 (221) – Tomas Machu, D
The New York Islanders didn’t have many picks to work with in the 2021 NHL draft, but they were able to add some good prospects to a not-so-great pipeline. They started with a bang by drafting Aatu Räty. The Islanders didn’t pick until the second round, but they got a first-round talent here.
Räty has undoubtedly had the most interesting story of any player in this draft. At one point, the 18-year-old Finnish center was considered to be the best prospect in his class. Räty hit a wall in his development after getting off to an amazing start and didn’t do too well this year, but the skills are there and many consider him to be a high-first round talent.
He’s an incredibly skilled playmaker and unbelievable skater. His greatest strengths are similar to that of current Islanders superstar center Mathew Barzal. This was an amazing pick for the Islanders, who might have won their draft very early on.
With the 93rd overall pick in the third round, the Islanders opted to go with a goaltender. They took Tristan Lennox, a 6’4″ netminder for Saginaw of the OHL. Analysts seem to like this kid. He didn’t play last year, but is deemed to have number one potential. He isn’t perfect, but his athleticism and fluidness and quickness allow him to make up for his weaknesses. Talent-wise, he’s capable of being a number one in the NHL. The Islanders will just need to focus on his development and make sure it goes well.