Here we are pick number 5 in the NHL draft, questions surrounding what the Islanders were going to do. If you were like me you were excited to add another piece of the puzzle. You were thinking defense all the way. We all knew who the first two picks were and then at number 3 Florida picked Gudbranson. Ok that is fine I thought, there are still Fowler and Gormley out there. I jumped for joy when I heard Johansen going to Columbus. This means we are getting Fowler or Gormley. I Was so excited to see Garth Snow go up to the podium and then the announcement “With the number 5 pick of this years NHL draft, the Islanders select from Portland of the WHL RW Nino Niederreiter”. I jumped up and was excited until I realized wait who??
The Islanders decided to go against what the fans wanted and thought needed. Why not take Fowler or Gormley?? Don’t we need an offensive defenseman who can run the power play with Streit?? I guess not. At first I could not believe the pick but when I did some home work I realized it really was not that bad. El Nino as he has already been dubbed had 36 goals and 24 assists with 68 penalty minutes. He is known to get the big goals and plays well in pressure situations. All of sudden my attitude changed and welcomed “El Niño” with open arms. I love that he has a lot to prove and that he wants to be a huge player. (Trust me El Nino all Islander fans want that as well). Then I saw images of him playing with Kyle Okoposo and Tavares. Could be the line of the future and realized the Islander made the right choice.
Other notable picks was Brock Nelson at number 30 which made no sense to me as to why the Islanders traded two second rounder’s to move up in the draft to draft him but then again I saw his numbers. 53 goals and 42 assists in 31 games and runner up for the Mr. Hockey Award, again another decent pick.
Then how about Kirill Kabanov. Everyone over looked did not want to deal with his issues. Well if this kid gets the discipline needed and wants to prove everyone wrong like he says then the Islanders might have just stole the draft. This guy is as talented as anyone in the draft and has the opportunity to become a huge impact player. He was slowed by wrist surgery but this kid could be the diamond in the rough, and well excited to see him in the future.
In the later rounds the Islanders drafted Jason Clark 85th overall, Tony DeHart 125th, and goalie Cody Rosen who was a back up and was shocked as anyone that he got drafted. In fact he was at a friend’s house when he got a call. Snow sees him as another diamond in the rough and told him that this was he (Snow) started out. Could be a feel good story in the coming years.
All in all not a bad draft for the Islanders. I think it was a little nerve racking but all in all the Islanders are building this team for the future, and if all these players do reach there potential watch out this Islander team will not be a joke anymore and might be hoisting the Stanley Cup sooner then later.
About the Author
Written by Timothy Noto
I am an avid Islander fan and I tell it the way it is. If the Islanders are playing bad well there is no sugar coating it. I live on Long Island and have been a fan since PAt Lafontaine got traded.