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Islanders Select 4 In First Round

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The New York Islanders are a young up and coming franchise.  The plan from the initial dispersal draft last year was to build young, but when many veterans like Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin, and Dan Girardi were on the board, the Isles felt they had to grab them.  After a failed playoff push with that group, Sedin and Girardi along with superstar Vladimir Tarasenko were traded for young studs Connor McDavid, Joel Eriksson-Ek, and picks.  Following another trade yesterday moving Justin Williams out of town, New York had 4 first round picks and feel they got excellent players to add to the deep prospect pool with each pick.

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Olli Juolevi – D – 1st Round – 7th Overall

With their first pick, the Islanders selected the best defenceman in the draft in Juolevi.  A blueline that is already built around Seth Jones, Madison Bowey, and Griffin Reinhart, adding Olli will become a great addition to round out the top 4 for years to come.  He is a well-rounded, complete defender who is well known for his hockey sense and offensive skills, but excels in skating and the defensive zone as well.  Could develop into a top line defender and Seth Jones’ linemate on Long Island in the near future.

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Tyler Benson – LW – 1st Round – 20th Overall

Benson was very high on the Islanders draft list, however in a season dogged by nagging injuries, scouts had him pegged as a top 15 talent, but because of limited viewings, he was viewed as a second round pick.  New York traded back 2 spots, but realizing he may not last to their next pick, they took him a little early.  Benson is a natural goal scorer and also defensively responsible, but a bit of a wildcard due to his injury concerns.  With the Isles quite deep at forward in the prospect pool, they were more than willing to take the risk he will develop into a solid two-way winger at the NHL level.

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Lucas Johansen – D – 1st Round – 27th Overall

Adding to the high top end pool on the blue line, Johansen was too good to pass up.  He comes from the great Kelowna Rocket program which has seen NHL’ers Shea Weber, Tyler Myers, Alex Edler, among many others.  With his ex-partner on the blueline Madison Bowey in the organization, and the brother of NHL star Ryan Johansen, selecting Lucas just made too much sense.  Like Juolevi, he is a very smart and calm defender who is a strong skater and produce offense.  Johansen and Bowey would be a great second pairing behind Jones and Juolevi for many years to come.

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Rasmus Asplund – C – 1st Round – 28th Overall

Asplund appears to be a safe pick for New York, one who may not be a future superstar, but could be a very useful piece at both ends of the rink.  The Islanders were scouting a few different forwards with this pick, but his play at the World Juniors as well as the belief he will be a very effective player in the NHL for a number of years put him ahead of the pack.  Asplund is a fast skater, with a quick and accurate shot who projects to be a middle 6 center at the NHL level.  After selecting the wildcard in Benson, a little safer pick in Asplund made for good balance to close out the first round.

Blockbuster at the Deadline

Toews

What started as an inquiry the day before the deadline, turned into a blockbuster reported a few minutes after it.  The Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers were able to finalize a deal for Jonathan Toews minutes prior to the deadline, but due to a technical glitch were unable to report it until a conference call with the league. The Capitals sent Tyler Bozak, prospects Dylan Larkin, Kyle Rau, Connor Carrick and their 1st and 2nd draft picks in 2017 to the Oilers for Toews and Michael Frolik.

“At first it was only an inquiry and then discussions continued throughout Saturday morning and afternoon. We were able to come to an agreement a few minutes prior to the deadline. We are extremely happy we could acquire a player like Toews. He will bring great leadership to this team. We are sad to see Larkin go, but it is the price you pay for elite players,” GM Torrie told the media.

Toews and Frolik will add more depth to an already deep lineup. Toews will likely line-up with Corey Perry and James Neal on the first line, while Frolik will lineup Nick Bonino and new acquired Benoit Pouliot.

Prior to the deadline, the Caps made several trades to improve their team’s chances in the playoffs. Over the past month, the Caps have brought in Brent Seabrook, Mike Green, Mike Hoffman, Pouliot, Boyd Gordon, Andrew Campbell, Brad Boyes and Kimmo Timonen. The team has improved their chances of making a deep run in the playoffs with the new additions.

Projected lines

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Hoffman-Bergeron-Eriksson

Pouliot-Bonino-Frolik

Miller-Gordon-Condra

 

Bflyguien-Seabrook

Russell-Green

Irwin-Campbell

 

Quick

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