Now that I've taken my turn at "Armchair GM", I think it's time to explain what will almost certainly happen on June 26, 2009 when the 2009 NHL Entry Draft begins. Let's begin with where the Isles will be slotted in this year's Draft:
- 1st Overall (Won in the 2009 Draft Lottery)
- 26th Overall (UPDATED (4/25/09): San Jose's Draft Pick-acquired in Chris Campoli trade. Conditional on where San Jose finishes in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
- 31st Overall
- 37th Overall (Acquired at 2008 Draft from Toronto in the 5-7-9 move)
- 60th Overall (Acquired from the Bruins in Ben Walter trade)
- 62nd Overall
- 84th Overall (UPDATED (4/25/09): Acquired in Bill Guerin trade, Penguins won their 1st round matchup against the Flyers)
- 92nd Overall
- 122nd Overall
- 152nd Overall
- 182nd Overall
So what are the Islanders going to do with all these draft picks? Well frankly, I can't tell you how everything will shake out by the time the 2nd Round starts but I can tell you what will happen in the 1st Round.
I've been running the poll above for a week and a half and most resoundingly, fans of this website have voted in favor of drafting John Tavares (89% at the time of this post to be exact). I'm here to let you know.......YOU MIGHT BE DISAPPOINTED!
If my feelings about Garth and the way he operates are correct, then Islanders fans might be calling for his head after he announces the 1st Overall Selection. I'm predicting this today, two months in advance. Garth Snow, with the Islanders #1 Draft pick will select....Victor Hedman.
Ever since the conference call after the Draft Lottery, I've had this inkling that Garth was leaning towards the hulking defenseman over the prolific sniper. I believe that Garth endorses the old adage, "Defense Wins Championships" and it's something that will heavily influence his decision. If the scouts leading up to the Entry Draft are correct then it will be John Tavares who goes with the top selection. However, I have a feeling Garth will defy the experts on this one.
If this scenario doesn't play out as I predicted with Hedman going 1st overall and it is Tavares (or another forward such as Matt Duchene) that claims the top spot, as many Islanders fans hope, then look for the Islanders to utilize that late first rounder (from the Campoli trade) and one or two of the three second round picks to move into the 15-18 range. I'd love to see Simon Despres in an Isles sweater in the future if they can grab him around there. He's a good skater with great size and solid nasty streak. He could be very interesting if the Islanders choose the more traditional route of selecting the consensus best player available.
In some respects, I hope that I'm wrong. In others, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed with drafting a defenseman that could basically do it all with size and speed. However, at the end of the day, it's not my decision and it's going to be two long months waiting for June 26, 2009 to come around.
(Photo courtesy of Victor Hedman's Wikipedia Page)