Saturday, June 27, 2009


So, the draft has come and gone. If you haven't seen all the picks and wheeling 'n dealing, check out the Islander homepage for details, although they haven't yet posted a simple list of their picks and results.

From what I gather, it's like this:
F Tavares, D de Haan, G Koskinen, G Nilsson, Coyote's 3rd in 2010, C Cizikas, D Klementyev, C Lee

That's what we picked up.

The Plus:
The Isles OBVIOUSLY had Tavares, de Haan and Koskinen on their list of players that they simply had to have. They got them and they didn't care who they skipped or what it cost in the process.

The Minus:
The Isles OBVIOUSLY had Tavares, de Haan and Koskinen on their list of players that they simply had to have. They got them and they didn't care who they skipped or what it cost in the process.

General feeling:
It's funny, because Tavares, de Haan and Koskinen were three guys I had really hoped to get out of this draft. That's exciting. If you had told me beforehand that we'd have them, I'd have been quite happy and probably would have said, "Can't wait to hear about the other 8 picks!"

Problem is, there are no other 8 picks. We have 4 more relatively unknown bodies and a remnant for next year's draft (granted, the Coyote pick is bound to be better placed than this year's 91, although next summer's draft isn't [yet] considered as deep as this summer's).

This draft will always leave me wondering if we couldn't have gotten de Haan or Koskinen at another point, under other circumstances? I will always wonder if we could've gotten de Haan without having to give up the five picks it took to get him? I will always wonder if anyone else was thinking of taking Koskinen anywhere near the 2nd round?

What to make of it all:
Ultimately, some fans will give this team the thumbs up for this draft. Heck, I too see three future NHLers in no less than Tavares, de Haan and Koskinen, which is a pretty good turnout for one draft.

However, now viewing the other three bodies and the general bevy of picks that came and well, mostly went, I feel as though the scouting stuff didn't really take things seriously after getting the three guys they knew they wanted. I get they let themselves rest a bit on the laurels of last summer and the belief that they got three future impact players with their picks between 1-31. When you hear what the staff says about Nilsson, Cizikas, Klementyev and Lee (who I think may just be a real gem at some point in the distant future), you get the jist that they kind of, sort of, just, well, were plucking at hunches.

Now, I am but a simple fan, but other than the Tavares pick, which in many respects is about the only one of real interest to a large portion of the fanbase, I can name you no less than five guys in each round who went AFTER each one of the players the Islanders picked in each respective round who I feel would have been much better choices. This goes for the de Haan pick as well - I truly feel he went a good 8-12 spots ahead of where he should have, well, when you compare him to some of the other first round talent (especially Kulikov, Rundblad, Leblanc and Schroeder)! This is not to say that the Isles didn't have good reason to believe that maybe a Florida, per se, was geared to take him 14th, but a good read of the many draft preview publications would give any ol' Joe this feeling.

With the draft hardly over, and of course excluding Tavares, I think we fans will look back at this draft and think "Doggone, THAT guy was still on the board when we took so-n-so and is now way better! How did the scouting staff miss him???"

Biggest statement made by this draft:
Now to the crux of it all - IMHO, this draft pretty much pointed out that this team no longer sees Dipietro as the longterm answer in goal, or as the face of this franchise. I'll tackle the latter point first.

As is, Tavares definitely becomes the new face of the franchise. There is little doubting of this. Aside from the humongous fanfare, when was the last time this team could call one of Canada's most adored sons one of its own? He puts us back on the map for those in the know....

So, with Dipietro being hereby replaced as the face of this franchise, the Islanders go WAY off the board to take the draft's most interesting and most NHL-READY goaltender. I had this guy pegged for round 3. They kicked off Saturday with the announcement of his name. I can only think: WOW!

In a draft this deep and with this team dishin' off five picks to get de Haan, this Finnish kid hasn't been taken to, uhhh, maybe be a back-up at some point. This pick speaks volumes about what the Isles feel about Dipietro's situation. It tells me, they're doubting Dipietro's longterm future. Heck, it tells me, they're doubting Dipietro's shortterm future.

This pick is a scary statement!

Top it off with the NEXT pick being yet another goalie, one not generally cosidered amongst the best available in this draft and well, those doubting the healthy return of Dipietro have been given a boatload of ammunition.

Know this: the team is still pretty high on Kevin Poulin, a monstrous goalie from the Q who they took last summer. In addition, Stefan Ridderwall is a part-time starter in the SEL and Jase Weslosky had the best numbers of any goalie in the system last year and is heading into a big senior year.

If you ask me, this draft wasn't just about the Islanders' future, but rather of its future WITHOUT Dipietro......


TheMetalChick said...

Dont exactly agree with your Dipietro conclusion. I think that whether Rick is going to be 100% or not right now is irrelevant to the draft (which is what Snow also said.) I mean, as far as Rick goes, I think it is now obvious that the boy should not be playing so many games per season.

I personally think the goalie drafts said:

(1) A goaltending tandem is the planned future... and GOOD! :) (If its good enough for Smith then its good enough for Ricky.)
(2) When they sign a FA goalie this season (which they have to do) they will not give him more than a year or two, since THIS kid could potentially step into the NHL at that point.

I think THAT is what the organization said to us today... and I dont see the doom and gloom that, I think its actually smart. Just my POV.

Landasnislander said...

Good stuff! Thanks for the comments.

I'll be discussing this issue further, probably as soon as we see if the Isles IMMEDIATELY sign a UFA goalie in the first few days of free agency, much as you feel is necessary (and you're not the only one:-)).