All posts by Isles

Isles 2020 Draft Review

Järventie-2

Despite the New York Islanders being cup contenders, they still had a solid draft adding 8 prospects.

Roby Jarventie – LW –2nd Round, 59th Overall – 7.0/3.5 (Dobber Fantasy Upside/NHL Certainty)

With the first pick, the Islanders added a speedy goal scoring winger.  A modern power forward who uses his size to protect the puck. Isn’t afraid to drive to the net. Owns a great shot and decent playmaking abilities. Has potential to become a 30-goal scorer.  Jarventie projects as a top 6 winger.

Eamon Powell – D – 4th Round, 92nd Overall – Dobber Ratings NA

With the next pick, the Isles added the best skater in the draft.  His skating and hockey IQ are at an elite level which could take him very far in the NHL. If he can improve on his weaknesses, the sky’s the limit for the Boston College commit.  Powell has top four potential.

Anton Johannesson – D – 4th Round, 112th Overall – 8.0/2.0 (Dobber Fantasy Upside/NHL Certainty)

The second defender taken by New York, Johannesson could be a real gem.  He has elite puck skills and is very smart with the puck. He skates with ease and can move around coast-to-coast with the puck. He is also a strong first pass defenseman and plays with confidence in tight situations. He processes the game well and has strong awareness.  Johannesson projects as a top four defender.

Mitchell Miller – D – 5th Round, 142nd Overall – Dobber Ratings NA

The Islanders went for their third defender in a row selecting Miller, a player ranked much higher on many draft boards.  Certainly more of an offensive defenseman, Miller has shown that he has the skill required to make an impact at the next level.  His skills are great for today’s fast-paced game and whichever team calls his name will be getting a solid prospect.  Miller projects as a middle pairing defender.

Theo Rochette – C – 5th Round, 146th Overall – Dobber Ratings NA

A few picks later, the Isles went for a player who had first round talk, but has fallen.  Heading into the beginning of the season Rochette was considered one of the best passers in the entire draft and it wasn’t by accident. He has above-average vision and can thread the needle with a hard, accurate pass.  Rochette is one of those players who can stickhandle in a phone booth.  Rochette projects as a middle six center.

Dmitri Zlodeyev – C – 6th Round, 176th Overall – 5.0/2.0 (Dobber Fantasy Upside/NHL Certainty)

New York went with another center at the end of the 6th round, with a two way scoring center.  A responsible 200-foot player with solid playmaking and shooting ability. Can lead a powerplay by himself.  With the puck on his stick, Zlodeyev is nearly impossible to stop. To go along with his pure speed, his lateral movement and agility make him incredibly unpredictable and he uses his skating ability to create space in the offensive zone. Zlodeyev projects as a middle six center.

Nick Malik – G – 7th Round, 185th Overall – 7.5/2.0 (Dobber Fantasy Upside/NHL Certainty)

With the next pick, the Islanders added a goalie projected to go much higher in the draft.  A butterfly goalie with good size, superb reflexes, good puck skills, and NHL bloodlines. Has already had success at the men’s level at a young age. Malik projects to become a starting goalie at the NHL level.

Simon Kubicek – D – 7th Round, 206th Overall – 5.0/2.0 (Dobber Fantasy Upside/NHL Certainty)

The Islanders closed out the draft by getting great value with Kubicek.  Kubicek is a solid two-way defender who can play in all situations. He certainly is not a flashy player in any regard but is quite effective no matter how he is deployed.  He projects to be a middle pairing defender.

Isles Acquire Kucherov, Pair Him with McDavid

TLA-thumbnail

The New York Islanders went all in to acquire Nikita Kucherov as a linemate for Connor McDavid.  The Isles will pair the top 2 NHL point producers together to start the 2019-2020 season, with Tomas Hertl expected to play on the left side.  To add another top superstar to a team that has seen their window open as a Stanley Cup contender, New York had to go for it and start gunning for cups.

The trade sent Elias Lindholm, Alexandre Texier, Andre Burakovsky, and two 1st rounders to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Nikita Kucherov and Travis Sanheim.  Moving Lindholm plus everything else after the season he just had was tough, but that was a breakthrough year and there’s no guarantee he will repeat it.  Texier is a great prospect that was hard to part with, but it saved the Isles from having to add Quinn Hughes which was a non-starter for New York.  Burakovsky wasn’t going to be on the Islanders top 12 forward roster and had to move to clear cap space.  The two 1st round picks are both going to be lower picks and were expensive to give up, but considering what came back, became acceptable.

In Kucherov, the Islanders get a superstar who just won the NHL Art Ross Trophy and the Hart.  He’s signed for a very cheap $5.5 million for the next 3 years at which point the Islanders will loyalty sign him for at least another 2 years.  Pairing his 87 SC rating and 94 PA rating with McDavid’s 88 SC rating and 94 PA rating and adding Hertl’s 83 SC and 78 PA is going to be the best line in the league. Adding Sanheim in the deal at the end was what pushed it over the top for NY, as he could play in the top 4 as soon as this year and is only 23.

This is not a one line team either, they did not sell the farm in this deal.  Having Darcy Kuemper in goal (80 OV), Matt Barzal and Brendan Gallagher on the 2nd line, Jason Zucker, Ilya Kovalchuck, Chris Tierney on the third line, and Seth Jones, Keith Yandle, and Brett Pesce on the blueline give this team talent, speed, and depth in all areas.  Add in top prospects like Quinn Hughes, Joel Eriksson Ek, Adrian Kempe, and others, this team is setting up to be a Stanley Cup contender for many years to come.

What’s next for the Islanders?  They are still looking for another scoring winger as well as an offensive defenceman, so moves will still be made.

Isles Closing In On First Playoff Birth

download

 

The New York Islanders took a steady approach to building their roster as they missed the playoffs for 3 straight seasons to start the GVFHL, but now season four is looking to be the start of a bright future for New York as they look to embark on their first playoff appearance.   The real catalyst for the franchise was trading Vladamir Tarasenko for Connor McDavid before McDavid even stepped into the NHL.  Adding the franchise centerman, who plays in all game situations for New York, was the biggest move this team has made.  They took a bit of a step back last year, adding players around McDavid like Corey Perry and Matthieu Perreault before the team was really ready to compete, which cost them some youth.  This year though, they are ready to take on the contenders.

In goal, Carter Hutton has been outstanding.  Top 5 in goals against average, he has been a big reason why this team is where they are.  On defense, the core has remained the same, but adding Polak and Forbort brought a strong defensive and physical presence along with Jones, Yandle, Girardi, and Schultz, to give the Islanders a solid group to help Hutton out and move the puck up the ice.

Connor McDavid has a slim lead on the Art Ross Trophy and has been stellar all season.  On the second line, Matt Barzal has been impressive and is close to locking up the Calder Trophy with 70 points in 59 games.  In a recent trade, the Isles acquired Jason Zucker and Jesper Fast which added more speed, offense, and defensive play to the lineup.  A very deep team, the Islanders boast skilled players on all 4 lines.

Despite being 4th in the Conference, the Islanders look like a Stanley Cup favourite.  They have the top scorer in the league, the top rookie scorer, a goalie among the top 5 in goals against average, and the second best power play and penalty kill in the league.   This team make make some noise come playoff time.