Picks: 46 (second round), 77 (third round), 139 (fifth round), and 201 (seventh round)
Trades: 6/22/2016 Obtained Jordan Eberle from Edmonton in exchange for Ryan Strome
After trading away their first round selection in the 2017 entry draft to Las Vegas as part of the Mikhail Grabovski salary dump, New York will not see a pick until the second round. In total, right now, the Isles have only four selections in the 2017 entry draft–the fewest in recent memory. However, this is less concerning than usual, and it even may not hurt to trade at least one more pick away–if one particular potential underachieving star comes to Brooklyn this year.
With forwards Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, and Josh Ho-Sang all getting a long look this coming season, and what the team already has up front (especially with the pick up of Eberle), you might think that the Isles are okay. And they are–just okay. But a major worry the team has is that the clock is ticking on John Tavares. With only one more year (this coming one) until he becomes an unrestricted free agent, Tavares needs to see movement toward Stanley Cup contention. The franchise player needs to feel like a Stanley Cup is in his reasonable near future with his team. Getting Eberle is certainly a step in the right direction to entice Tavares. But Eberle and Barzal, Dal Colle, and Ho-Sang are not enough to make the team move up to real contention. The Islanders need another big offensive piece.
Colorado’s Matt Duchene would perfectly fit that role. The question is are the Islanders willing to do what it will take to get him. It’s been long rumored that Josh Bailey is on the trade block. But it will take more to get the Colorado first-line winger. If it takes Bailey, one of the third liners, and a couple of the draft picks to do so, it will be worth it to get Duchene.
And then, frankly, it really won’t matter what New York does with the rest of the picks. Just pick the best player available and move on. Frankly, there are couple of excellent blueline prospects in the system, and if Ilya Sorokin is near ready, he could very well quickly become a star between the pipes. With the addition of Duchene, it may be enough to keep Tavares in the fold.
So come on Garth, pull the trigger. Truly, the near future of the franchise depends on it.