The NHL Draft marks the beginning of a new season, and for the New York Islanders drafting hasn’t always been their forte. Numerous years this team has had the chance to draft top picks and become a special team for years to come, but have failed. In 2000, with the first overall pick, they drafted one of the biggest busts in NHL history: Rick Dipietro. The goalie from Boston University was plagued with injuries his whole career and never got to his true form. I will be starting from the 2005 entry draft and seeing who the Islanders missed out on. Obviously this is easier to say after the fact, but it proves how important drafting is.
2005- NYI 15th overall- Ryan O’Marra (C)- Who? The Japanese center never saw NHL action for the Islanders and only played in 33 NHL games tallying 7 points.
2005- My pick 15th overall- Tukka Rask (G)- After drafting Dipietro, the Islanders didn’t have a steady goalie for years, and Rask would have given that to them. He could even still be starting for them now.
2006- NYI 7th overall Kyle Okposo (RW)- Now this is a rarity, but in a bit of a weaker draft the Islanders found a very solid forward who produced for them for years.
2006- My Pick 7th overall- Claude Giroux (C)- Yes, this is a reach as he wasn’t drafted until 22nd overall and many teams passed him, but it turns out that he was one of the best players in the draft.
2007 No first round pick
2008- NYI 9th overall Josh Bailey (LW)- Mr. Inconsistency… Bailey shows flashes of brilliance and then goes quiet for long stretches. This past season was his best as he played alongside John Tavares, but he is not worthy of a 9th overall selection.
2008- My Pick 9th overall Erik Karlsson (D)- The Islanders passed on two great defensemen who were each drafted a couple picks after Bailey. Karlsson and Tyler Myers were two easy choices over Bailey for me.
2009- NYI 1st overall John Tavares (C)- They messed up the first pick in 2000, but got it right here. This is one pick that I agree with. Tavares is now one of the league’s top players and has an impact night in and night out.
2009- My pick 1st overall John Tavares (C)- Credit where credit is due!
2009- NYI 12th overall Calvin de Haan (D)- Once again the injury bug hurt the Isles with this pick. After being drafted de Haan spent much of his time sidelined, and the offensively talented defensemen has never shown his true colors.
2009- My pick 12th overall Nick Leddy (D)- This is the offensive defensemen the Isles were looking for. With 216 points in 498 NHL Games, Leddy has been stellar.
2010- NYI 5th overall Nino Niederreiter (RW)- The Portland Winterhawks winger never found his stride with the Islanders, and ended up getting traded for Cal Clutterbuck. Nino has since found his game and shows that the Islanders also have some problems developing younger players.
2010- My pick 5th overall Jeff Skinner (LW)- Skinner has been one of the only bright spots for a Carolina team that has struggled recently. He has already played in almost 500 games and has four 50 or more point seasons.
2010- NYI 30th overall Brock Nelson (C)- Not a bad pick rounding out the first round, but Nelson has proved he is a one dimensional player and is also super streaky.
2010- My pick 30th overall Justin Faulk (D)- The 6 foot defenseman is a master on the power play and has great on-ice vision. On the bright side, the Hurricanes had a good draft in 2010.
2011- NYI 5th overall Ryan Strome (C)- As I write this article the former Niagara Ice Dog is headed to Edmonton. Strome is another guy who has yet to pan out to his full potential. With only one solid season under his belt, we will see if a change of scenery can help.
2011- My pick 5th overall Mark Scheifele (C)- You won’t find an NHL player with a better hockey IQ then Scheifele. The hard-working center is a guy any team would be lucky to have.
2012- NYI 4th overall Griffin Reinhart (D)- In a pretty solid draft, the Islanders managed to find one of the few guys who has had no NHL success thus far. He now is a Vegas Knight, but his 37 NHL games are nothing to be proud of.
2012- My pick 4th overall Filip Forsberg (C)- With so much talent still available, it was hard to go wrong with this pick. Forsberg has scored 30 goals in his last two seasons and continues to excel.
2013- NYI 15th overall Ryan Pulock (D)- The big defensemen hasn’t seen much NHL time in his young career, but I think the Isles did right here. He has shown he can help out on the power play and is starting to improve in his own zone.
2013- My pick 15th overall Ryan Pulock (D)- I almost went with Anthony Mantha, who has proven he can play in the league, but I do have faith that Pulock will be successful.
2014- NYI 5th overall Michael Dal Colle (LW)- The up and down saga of Michael Dal Colle continues. After being a highly scouted prospect of the Oshawa Generals, it seems he has lost a step. After not making the Canadian Junior team, questions still surround the top pick who has seen no NHL time.
2014- My pick 5th overall William Nylander (C)- The 21 year old played in his first full season and recorded 61 points, helping the Leafs reach the Playoffs. Nikolaj Ehlers also would’ve been a better pick–oh yeah and Dylan Larkin.
2014- NYI 29th overall Josh Ho-Sang (RW)- Despite some off the ice issues, Ho-Sang seems like a prime choice for the end of the first round. With only 21 games of NHL experience, he still has a lot to learn.
2014- My pick 29th overall Josh Ho-Sang (RW)- Surprisingly, I loved this pick. He only dropped because of his off the ice issues. I like risks and I think this is a great one to take.
2015- NYI 15th overall Matthew Barzal (C)- The center for the Seattle Thunderbirds was one of the WHL’s best players yet again this year. Barzal seems to be like a solid selection as he tore up the WHL yet again.
2015- My pick 15th overall Travis Konecny (RW)- Konecny dominated the OHL With the 67’s and the Sting, and had a pretty solid rookie season for the Flyers. This shows that he can do a lot more than just produce points.
2015- NYI 28th overall Anthony Beauvillier (C)- Beauvillier already has an NHL season to his name where he put up 24 points in 66 games. The forward’s speed helped him excel and is something that can’t be taught.
2015- My pick 28th overall Sebastian Aho- (LW)- Aho shocked the NHL this season with his 24 goals and 25 assists. The second round pick by the Hurricanes is another solid selection that I would have taken as well.
2016- NYI 19th overall Keieffer Bellows (LW)- Bellows didn’t really turn any heads when he was drafted, and he still isn’t a year later. After only a 14 point season with Boston he may not be what the Isles thought he would be.
2016- 19th overall Brett Howden (C)- The Moose Jaw center did it all in the WHL and finished last season off in the AHL. In his last season with Moose Jaw he had 81 points in 58 games and was showing off his skills at new levels.
Like I said, it is a lot easier to pick after the fact, but all this proves is how important the draft is and how much these general managers have to prepare.