Good morning folks, Tom Liodice and I are sitting up here in the media risers bright and early. The internet connection is blazing and an NHL employee (three more since I posted that) just came over to check if we were connected alright. I bet they had hundreds of complaints yesterday. Hopefully for us, as well as the rest of the folks here – it stays up and running.
While Tom and I sit here eating our breakfast, I wanted to get a serious post out there.
The fallout from Garth and company trading away the 5th overall pick for the 7th and then the 7th for the 9th has been raining down in full force on various message boards. The problem for fans is two-fold actually, and I can understand this to a certain degree. While I had an earlier post last week expressing my desire for the Islanders to draft Nikita Filatov, I am not heartbroken that we did not select his at number 5 when he was available. The reaction among us here in Row number 7 was not of surprise, but a feeling that they were confident they could get their man at
number 7, number 9. When the Islanders finally made a selection with the 9th, they opted to draft a solid two-way center named Joshua Bailey. Instantaneously, those at the draft party and on the message boards were calling for Snow’s head on a platter. This just isn’t a fair assessment.
Everyone we ran into the rest of the first round were praising the play of Bailey and said that he was likely one of the best centermen available. When asked for my reaction on Islanders TV, I really meant what I said after I began to read about Bailey. He has a bigger frame, knows the North American style of play and put up 96 points last season with the Windsor Spitfires – so his vision and play making ability shouldn’t be questioned.
Touching on another angle, not picking one of Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo, and Schenn REALLY compounded the anger of those same fans. Understandable because we are looking at some of the top defenseman who will be coming up the next few years – but the fact the Islanders are loaded up with picks in the second round makes this more palatable. There were complaints that the Isles “cupboard was bare” in terms of prospects. Snow just made sure that the youth movement will continue into the unforeseeable future by adding 2 second round picks in what is said to be a very deep round. If their scouting is right (no reason to believe there is not at this point), we should get some very solid talent today.
Below are the picks the Islanders will use today, keep in mind that they still are yet to announce a decision on the extra picks from the trade with Toronto:
2nd Round: #36, #40 (Nsh to NYI), #53 (Ana to Edm to NYI), #60 or #68 (Tor to NYI)
3rd Round: #66, #73 (Edm to NYI to Edm to Ana to NYI)
4th Round: #96
5th Round: #126, #148 (Phi to NYI)
6th Round: #156, #175 (Min to NYI)
7th Round: None
#36: Jared Staal – Right Wing
Right wing. Shoots Right. 6’3″, 198 lbs. Born: Thunder Bay, Ontario, August 21, 1990.
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
#40 Jake Gardiner – Defenseman
Defense. Shoots Left. 6’0″, 173 lbs. Born: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 4, 1990.
Hometown: Minnetonka, Minnesota
#53 Adam Comrie – Defenseman
Defense. Shoots Left. 6’4″, 205 lbs. Born: Ottawa, Ontario, July 31, 1990.
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
My guesses are simply guesses, I don’t really know much about the prospects listed above and these are likely not to be our selections.
The sky is not falling, this is a very important day and we will certainly benefit for years to come. I just wish that my fellow fans would exercise some patience with this organization as so many jump to negative conclusions too quickly.