June 2009

Monthly Archive

Islanders Trade With Devils

Posted by on 30 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: News, Off Season, Trades

You know I barely paid any attention to my phone today and I missed out on the start of action, albeit a small one. The Islanders have traded forward Ben Walter and a contional pick in 2012 to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the rights of 2006 6th round pick Tony Romano.

Just got a confusing press release from the Isles that says WE got the conditional pick:

The New York Islanders have acquired Tony Romano and a conditional pick in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for center Ben Walter. 

Romano played the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.  The Smithtown, NY native was the leading scorer for the Peterborough Petes last season, scoring 36 goals and 33 assists for 69 points in 65 games.  The year prior, Romano skated in 66 games for the London Knights and registered 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists).  Romano was drafted in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and played that same year for Cornell University where he totaled nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 29 games. 

Walter spent the last two seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he accumulated 116 points.  He played in a total of 12 games for the Islanders during his two seasons with the organization scoring one goal. 

Per NHL.com:

The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders swung a small trade Tuesday. The Devils sent Tony Romano to the Islanders in exchange for Ben Walter and a conditional draft pick in 2012.

Walter, a former fifth-round pick of the Boston Bruins, has 22 games of NHL experience spread over four seasons, including two with the Bruins and the last two with the Islanders.

He played in four games last season while also wracking up 50 points in 65 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Walter has averaged 20 goals and nearly 56 points per season in the AHL since turning pro in 2005 after spending three seasons at UMass-Lowell.

Romano, 21, the Devils’ sixth round pick in 2006, has spent the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, first with the London Knights and then with the Peterborough Petes. He had 69 points in 65 games last season with Peterborough.

Ok so Romano is a 21 year old prospect (and Smithtown, NY native) who has not played at all in the NHL just yet, not really any different then Walter and his cup-o-coffee. Romano is listed at 5’7″ and 170lbs but his offensive numbers seem to indicate he uses his lack of size well enough to get to scoring areas. I am unsure if he played with Tavares at all, but it just seems they seem to be targeting players from the same systems and organizations – for whatever that is worth. You can read more about Romano on Hockey’s Future.

Like I said, this isn’t exactly the same as the Rangers shipping Scott Gomez off to Montreal for Chris Higgins, but it’s a start. Only two more days till the free agent frenzy begins.

Islanders Select With 152nd: Anders Lee

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog

The Islanders have just made their final selection, as we eat lunch – (ughhhh).

With the 152nd overall selection, they selected 6’2″ 214lb centerman Anders Lee from Edina HS in Minnesota.

The only information on the net on Anders Lee comes from Hockey’s Future:

History

2007-08: After two successful years at St. Thomas Academy, Anders Lee transferred to Edina prior to this season. He enjoyed a stellar junior campaign at Edina High School, where he played alongside Edina’s two junior sensations Zach Budish and Marshall Everson. Lee finished third on the Hornet roster in scoring with 54 points (32 goals, 22 assists) in 31 appearances. His 32 goals were second on the team and he averaged 1.74 points per game. Among the accolades Lee received included a spot on the Pioneer Press All-State First Team and an honorable mention to the AP All-State team. Lee, who has carried a near 4.0 GPA at Edina this season in addition to his excellence on the ice, has garnered considerable interest from a number of D-I schools, most notably from Harvard.
Talent Analysis

At 6’2.5/213 lbs, Lee is a man-child. It is easy to spot him on the ice because of his imposing size and tremendous strength. He is exceedingly strong on his skates and quite mobile. What stands out about Lee’s skating however is the great balance and agility that he has for such a big man. He also has some speed to go with it. Lee utilizes his large frame, strength and long reach to great advantage. He is not only a difficult player to move off of the puck, but he can also power his way through the opposition’s checks too. He is very strong along the boards and in the corners. Where Lee’s use of his size and strength are particularly noticeable are in his relentless drives to the net and in protecting the puck. He can also deliver some bone-jarring hits as well.

One of Lee’s greatest attributes is his very heavy shot. He can get pucks to the net and gets his shots off very quickly. He is a smart player who competes hard and sees the ice remarkably well. He is defensively responsible and is a competent penalty killer.

An area where Lee really excelled this season with Edina was on face-offs. He possesses nice hands and is very poised with the puck. While his passing skills are good, it’s an area that can and should improve with maturity and development.
Future

One dilemma that Lee poses to prospective NHL teams who are considering selecting him in this year’s draft is that he has also excelled at and has drawn considerable scouting interest in his other dominant sport – football.

Islanders Select With 122nd: Anton Klementyev

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog

The Islahttp://www.islesblogger.com/wp/wp-admin/link-add.phpnders just started off the fifth round by selecting 6’1″ 183lb Russian defenseman Anton Klementyev.

Unfortunately, there is NO other information on this prospect just yet.

Islanders Select With 92nd: Casey Cizikas

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: General

The Islanders have selected Center Casey Cizikas with the 92nd overall selection, the first pick of the fourth round. Cizikas was ranked 92nd out of North American skaters and surprise, was selected at number 92.

Some info from My NHL Draft:

A player who has a solid all around game and does a lot of things right. He has decent offensive skills, putting up 18 goals and 41 points in his rookie season in the OHL last year. He is capable of far more offensively. He is a great passer, has great skating ability and a knack for finding room for himself.

This player is definitely very crafty with the puck when pressured. He also has a very nice set of hands and should shoot a little more than he does. He does need to get a little stronger in his upper body, to be able to better battle in traffic. He’s a good solid prospect who at 5-11, 185 lbs will get a little more filled out. We like his upside.

Islanders Trade 91st to Phoenix for 2010 3rd Rounder

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog, Trades

The Islanders have traded the 91st overall to Phoenix for a 3rd round pick in 2010. The Islanders have the very next pick, so why not see what you can get – right?

Mikko Koskinen Interview Video

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, General, Live Blog

Just uploaded the iPhone video we shot of Mikko Koskinen down in the interview room. It’s not the greatest quality, but you can see how big he is:

YouTube Preview Image

Isles Official’s Outlook found this neat video of a shootout with Koskinen as well, it was worth sharing. Koskinen is the second goaltender shown in the white jersey.

YouTube Preview Image

Islanders Select With 62nd: Anders Nilsson

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog

The Islanders have opened up the third round with the 62nd overall selection and have chosen goaltender Anders Nilsson from the Swedish Elite League. Nilsson is ranked 5th among all European netminders, so the Islanders have selected the second and fifth ranked goaltenders in the same round.

Information on Nilsson is a bit hard to find, but I did manage to find some information on NHL.com.

Islanders Trade 56th to Columbus

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog, News, Trades

The Islanders have traded the 56th pick to Columbus for their 62nd and our old 92nd pick. So they decided to move down six likely figuring they could still get their player and add their previous 92nd pick back as an added bonus.

The story gets more and more interesting as the day goes on.

Islanders Select With 31st: Mikko Koskinen

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog

Mikko KoskinenWith the 31st overall pick in the second round, the Islanders have selected Goaltender Mikko Koskinen. Koskinen is listed as being a staggering 6’7″ and I just snapped a picture and some video of him being interviewed by Steve Mears who looks like a dwarf standing next to him. Looks like they wanted to draft someone in Snow’s mold.

Information on the goaltender of the future for the Islanders courtesy of Hockey’s Future:

History

2007-08: Spent the majority of the season with the Blues of the SM-Liiga juniors, posting respectable numbers after 20 games.

2008-09: Played for the Espoo Blues and posted a 1.91 goals against average and .912 save percentage after 33 games. Was passed over in the 2008 draft.
Talent Analysis

Koskinen’s greatest asset is his size, which he uses to seemingly fill the entire net and he covers a lot of space in the butterfly. He is inexperienced in terms of the number of games played and has not had a lot of international experience – excelling in the SM-Liiga where he ordinarily does not see the booming slapshots or accurate snipers more common in North America. Still learning as a goaltender, he must work to improve his quickness and foot speed. Very good at anticipating chances and setting himself to limit scoring opportunities. Quality teammate who has earned the respect of the veteran players in Espoo.
Future

Rated as the second European goalie by Central Scouting, in a bad year for European goalies.

About to Begin Day Two

Posted by on 27 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog

So the four of us (among all the other press as well) are sitting here trying to figure out what to do after a really long night last night. We got about six hours of sleep after staying up until almost this morning (just about 24 hours of being awake since we left New York yesterday). We are slightly refreshed, injecting caffeine into our systems (as well as yogurt – Jim from Blue Shirt Banter took a picture of mine….damn Rangers bloggers) and naturally french type pastries.

Day two is usually much, much faster for rounds two through seven, simply because the teams do not come up to the stage for each pick. It’s also easier for the media because the only players who may actually be here are the ones who could have went in the later part of the first round or in the second and third – so there is less interviewing to do. It’s also nice that it starts earlier – we get to rest up in the afternoon for one last night in Montreal.

Here are the Islanders remaining pics for rounds two through six, barring any change I will update everyone as it happens:

(Round 2) 31st Overall
(Round 2) 56th Overall (Formerly belonged to Boston)
(Round 3) 91st Overall (Formerly belonged to Pittsburgh)
(Round 5) 122nd Overall
(Round 6) 152nd Overall

The Islanders start off today with the first pick of the second round where there are plenty of very talented players still available. Think of it as an extra first round pick if you will – there were players projected to be taken last night who slipped past the threshold into round two.

Stay tuned folks.

Brian Burke: “Garth Said No!”

Posted by on 26 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, General, News

Snow - Tavares

Photo courtesy of TSN

Just walking past Brian Burke being interviewed, the topic of John Tavares came up. Several great points:

When asked if talks for the number one pick ever went past an initial inquiry, Burke said “I asked Garth what it would take and it involved a lot. I asked Garth if it was even a road worth exploring and he said no”.

Burke also went on to talk about hearing how the Islanders were after Duchene and NOT Tavares. Seems Burkie and Logan had the same sources – unfortunate for both parties, good for the Islanders.

You never know what you’ll hear down in the interview room. I am glad Ken made me wait.

In your face Brian Burke, in. your. face.

Islanders Trade up to 12: Select Calvin De Haan

Posted by on 26 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Draft, Live Blog, Trades

The Islanders have just traded the 16th, 77th and 182nd picks to Atlanta for the 12th overall and select defenseman Calvin De Haan.

Picture of the interview

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