Friday, June 26, 2009

Billy Jaffe Predicts........

Just listening to NHL Live, and Billy predicts the Islanders will take Duchene. Oh boy, stay tuned tonight, this could get uglllllly.

Just heard that TSN WILL have a camera there at Nassau to get fans reaction when Snow announces the first overall pick....... That's a move that leans towards Tavares. Why bring a camera to see 10,000+ people look utterly demoralized if Tavares is not picked? More to come.

Today is the day.

Well, today is the day that most Islanders fans have been waiting a long time for. No more speculations, no more mock drafts. Today the Islanders fans will have there answers. Who will Garth Snow draft will finally be answered in about 8 hours. I personally commend Snow for not telling outside sources whom he plans to draft. It has built up the drama on Long Island, and it makes the other teams come up with more game plans and work a lot longer than the Islanders with their first round selection. Now what will happen between 1 and 26th is anybody's guess. I will be home all day watching and listening to anything Islanders related and will be posting as soon as I hear anything.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Possibility for the Second Pick

The player picked most in the Mock Drafts by the Islanders with the 26th pick is Calvin de Haan. This cannot be ignored. I still say they will go after Erixon, but de Haan is a close second. If picked, the Islanders will be improving the quality of prospects, and more secifically, the defensive side.

NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards: "Calvin shows a lot of patience and poise for a young defenseman. He has high-end puck skill and passing ability. He has a very good shot, hard and accurate, and a very good ability to get the puck through traffic to the net. He sees the ice very well and moves the puck through traffic. His skating is excellent, mobility, agility and speed. His biggest asset is his hockey sense. He makes very few mistakes."

Calvin de Haan is being compared to Thomas Kaberle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Colliton Out of Bridgeport

From the Connecticut Post:

Jeremy Colliton believes his best route to the NHL goes through Scandinavia. Colliton has signed with Rogle BK in Angelholm, Sweden, for the 2009-10 season.

"It seems to be a great opportunity," said Colliton, who played most of the past four seasons for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. "I'm going to get a chance to play a lot."

Colliton, who is a restricted free agent at age 24, was impressed by the team's interest. He said he was in contact with the New York Islanders, Bridgeport's parent club and the team that drafted him in 2003, but he felt going to Sweden for at least a year would be good for him.

"I want to play in the NHL," Colliton said. "Hopefully I'll continue to develop and come back a better player."

Colliton scored 48 goals and 83 assists in 232 games for Bridgeport; the games-played and assists totals both rank third in the team's eight-year history.

He had eight goals and 28 assists this season. A late-season concussion limited him to two playoff games this season, a severe crimp on Bridgeport's penalty kill.

He has a goal and two assists in 42 NHL games.

Now we have an interesting story. I think Collitons rights stay with the Islanders, unless they decide to trade him, possibly at the draft, but I'm going to look into it. I was hoping to one day see Colliton as a regular on the Islanders team, and I still might. This does however, leave a hole at center in Bridgeport, so expect the Islanders to pick a center with a pick in the third round, along with a goalie.

Hedman Going First?

From the Ottawa Sun:

Maybe the Islanders are bluffing, but a whole lot of general managers believe they are leaning towards picking Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman first in the NHL draft. If that's the case, John Tavares will go second to Tampa and Matt Duchene third to Colorado ...

Sorry but that reporter just does not want to see Tavares in an Islanders jersey. There is NO ONE outside of Snow, Wang and Jankowski, that have any clue as to whom the Islanders will choose with the first overall pick. To be honest, and will say it again, I believe Tavares is the pick. My thanks to Spector's Hockey for the link.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Will The Islanders Trade Up?

I'll give you my first choice right now whom the Islanders will take with the first overall pick: John Tavares. Why? He'll be the face of the franchise, score the goals, assume the leadership role, fills in the empty seats, so on and so forth. He's being compared to Bossy, and that is exactly what the Islanders need now and in the future.

But now on to the 26th pick of this years draft, and there are some really good players, even down at number 26. The Islanders can help themselves a little by possibly trading up. They will be able to give up the 57th overall pick in the second round, along with their first rounder to move up. The question is, which team will do it? My guess will be the Calgary Flames. They do not have a 2nd rounder, but have a high third round pick, so giving them a lower second rounder would benefit the Flames. The Flames should be a perennial Western Conference team for some time, so giving up there 20th overall pick will not kill the Flames, considering they would be moving down six places. The question now is who will the Islanders draft?

If they go defense, I will stick with my gut and go with Erixon. From NewYorkIslanders.com:
"He's very mature and took a big step forward this year. He wasn't with us last year for the U18. (Him and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are) pretty close to the same. Tim is better on defense because he’s a little bit bigger and has a good reach. They have the same skills offensively, are very good at the blue line and have a good shot too.”
-Team Sweden Under-18 Head Coach Stephan Lundh, as quoted in Hockey's Future

“He’s a copy of his dad.”
-Director of NHL European Scouting Goran Stubb

“An offensive minded defenseman with good size and mobility. Erixon has first-class hockey sense and passes the puck well. Moves the puck with confidence and likes to join the rush when he gets the chance to. Could use some work with his defensive game.”
-EliteProspects.com

If the Islanders decide to go offense, which I still believe they will, look for them to draft Jeremy Morin. From the Ottawa Sun:

GM Garth Snow can't pass up drafting perhaps the best goal scorer after JT if he was to fall into their lap. Morin has a great touch, with quick and soft hands. Fresh off of winning a gold medal at the 2009 world under-18 championship, Morin signed an Ontario Hockey League contract with the Kitchener Rangers. A dynamic goal-scorer, few players have the one-timing ability of Morin.

Style compares to: Rick Vaive

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Draft Prediction

Later on this evening I will come out with my own prediction as to whom the Islanders will select with there first three picks. I'm doing some research, now so I'll try to be as logical as I can. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Mock Drafts Research

Yesterday, I must have looked at close to 10-15 mock drafts, ranging from the Hockey News, to NHL.com, to the regular blogger coming up with his/her own prediction, and I found out the following players have been frequently ranked anywhere from 20th-30th place:

1) Stefan Elliot D, 2) Tim Erixon D, 3) Calvin De Haan D, 4) Kyle Palmieri RW/C,
5) Chris Kreider C, 6) Landon Ferraro C, 7) Peter Holland C, 8) Drew Shore D, 9) David Rundblad D, 10) Jeremy Morin LW

Now, assuming the Islanders cannot trade up, the player who was chosen the most to be drafted by the Islanders was Calvin De Haan. That's not a bad choice to have considering he was traded for John Tavares in the OHL this year. He does not have the size the Islanders are looking for, but he may be hard to pass up.

Personally he's not my first choice for that second pick. If this list is a true evaluation of the players available, then my choice would be Tim Erixon. I like someone with bloodlines, and in this case I'll take him over Ferraro, because Ferraro may be available with the 31st pick in the draft. If the Islanders have Kreider in that slot, I think you have to go with offense with that pick, and decide on a defensman with the 31st pick. I've stated in the past, the Islanders need quality scoring with size in the first round, but if Kreider is taken, then you go with Erixon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just In Case........

I was listening to Billy Jaffe on NHL Live yesterday, and I was able to get his thoughts about what the Islanders may do with the second first round pick. He had suggested the Islanders may pick a defenseman, which I'm ready to believe Billy, but would rather see the Islanders go for another forward. Having said that, just in case the Islanders do draft a defenseman, here are five that I hope the Islanders can draft, at least one of them:

Kulikov, 6-1 195 pounds. Rock solid, and they're saying could be NHL ready.

Despres 6-4 214 pounds. Hard hitter, and playes sound defense.

Erixon 6-2 190 pounds. Has NHL blood lines from his father, great defensive mind.

Clark 6-3 205 pounds. Could be a second round pick, but Jankowski was scouting him along ith Duchene.

Olsen: 6-2 205 pounds. Another possible second rounder, but has an overall package.

If the Islanders come away with two of these players, we're looking at a stocked defensive core for the long term.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rumor Mill

From the Ottawa Sun:

The talk is Toronto GM Brian Burke has been trying to entice the New York Islanders, who are drafting No. 1 overall and the Bolts, picking No. 2, to trade their top pick in exchange for D Tomas Kaberle and the Maple Leafs' No. 7 overall selection. "That's not going to be enough to get it done," said one league executive. "Burke is going to have to come up with more. You can't give a No. 1 pick away. It means a lot to the franchise."

Thanks to Spector for that one: Once again the Canadian media still want Tavares as a Maple Leaf, not going to happen. That league executive is right, it will take a lot more. I'm almost certain the Islanders will draft Tavares.

Why do I say that? Because Tavares visited not just Snow, and Wang, but Weight as well. The quality visit he had certainly puts him ahead of the others, in my opinion. If I have to make a percentage, I'll go 40% Tavares, 30% Hedman, 30% Duchene.

Ahh three more weeks.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wang NOT on WFAN @ 5:30

Charles Wang will not be talking to WFAN at 5:30 today to talk hockey, the Lighthouse Project, and anything else he wants to due to the Mets-Pirates game.

Also the Coliseum is announcing that over 6000 people are showing up for the draft party. Keep the number going and show your support for the Islanders as they make the announcement of the first overall pick.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

After The First Overall Pick

In order to stick to my theory that the Islanders will be picking a top 25 ISS ranked player, with the 26th overall pick, I had to look at Bridgeport and looked at the depth that they have, and then look at the Islanders roster to determine the type of player the Islanders need with the next first round pick.

For now I don't see a top 4 defenseman being drafted and playing for the Islanders next year. The Islanders need offense and drafting Tavares with the first overall pick will certainly help, but the Islanders need more help in that department.

If Tavares is selected, the center position is stocked for the next 5-7 years. Period. Let Trivino develop, and any of the other centers stay at the Bridge until called upon.

That leaves us at the wing position. Personally, I see one 25-30 goal scorer on this team that plays wing, Okposo. So a scoring winger with a potential of at least 25-30 goals is needed, from either side will be just fine.

A few wingers who may be available who would certainly help are the following in no particular order:

Zach Kassian: 6-3; 205 lbs, and he's a power forward. Can tackle the big boys, and score goals

Carter Ashton: 6-4 212 lbs, also a power forward. Great size and scores.

Chris Kreider: will be attending Boston College next year, but a good pick for two years down the road.

Carl Klingberg, 6-3 205 lbs. Great skater, and can start and finish plays; could be a big time scorer.

Jeremy Morin, 6-1 189 lbs. The best goal scorer behind Tavares, and can skate like the wind.

Any one of those five player with the 26th pick would be a jolt into the Islanders organization. Now the Islanders may trade up to get one of these players, or someone else that they had in mind.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What Will Garth Do?

After doing some research, I can tell you this much. Assuming that the Islanders do not trade any of their picks, look for them to draft 4 players ranked in the top 35 of the ISS scouting report rankings. That alone will be a nice boost for the development of this organization. Now the question is: who will they pick?

For now, there is a 33 percent chance the Islanders will draft John Tavares. Why that number? Because Tavares, Hedman, and Duchene, have visited Long Island, and no one else will be getting that kind of treatment. It could be that close.

My thought: More like 50-50. I think Tavares is a better, long lasting player, than Duchene, and he just came on the scene, possibly as a smoke screen just to keep Tavares away from the Island. Duchene may be that good, but I also believe there will be an uproar from the fans if the Islanders decide to pick Duchene and not Tavares or Hedman.

End result: Either player will dramatically improve this team for next year. Tavares has the edge because he'll sell more tickets, and he's a sniper that has been missing for the last few years since Blake has left.

Next entry will be on the next first round pick the Islanders have.

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