It took some time, but the New York Islanders made six selections during the 2021 NHL Draft. In the end, the Islanders selected two forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders.
New YorkIslanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters afterward that he was pleased with the diversity of positions they were able to draft on Saturday. It may be some time before any of them wear the orange and blue, but here are the six newest members of the Islanders organization.
Aatu Raty, Selected 52nd Overall, C, Karpat (Liiga), 18-years-old: Raty could prove to be a steal for the Islanders if he pans out. He was projected to be a top-10 pick in the NHL Draft, but a down 2020-21 season in which he recorded just six points (three goals, three assists) in 35 games dropped his value in many people’s eyes. Raty is a skilled playmaker by all accounts and in his first game right after being drafted, he scored four goals for Finland in the World Juniors Summer Showcase.
Tristan Lennox, Selected 93rd Overall, G, Saginaw Spirit (OHL), 18-years-old: There was no 2020-21 hockey season for Lennox due to the COVID-19 shutdown of the OHL. Lennox worked out away from his team on a daily basis and spent some time with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, though he never appeared in a game. Lennox has been described as someone who has the raw talents to become an NHL player and at 6-foot-4 his size is a major asset for the young netminder, who also possesses good puck handling abilities. NHL Central Scouting had him listed as the third-best North American goaltender in this year’s draft.
Cameron Berg, Selected 125th Overall, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL), 19-years old: The New York Islanders added some more center depth with their fourth-round pick in Berg. He will be headed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha next season to play at the collegiate level after a good year in the USHL. Berg recorded 27 goals and 58 points in 53 games for the Lumberjacks last season and had another four goals in the playoffs. The center was ranked 140th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and Eliteprospects described his game as being “all about getting from the defensive zone to the opposition’s net as quickly as possible.”
Eetu Liukas, Selected 157th overall, LW, Turun Palloseura (Liiga), 18-years-old: Liukas was the second Finn the New York Islanders selected on Saturday. He appeared in 19 games for TPS and had a goal and three points in that span. Liukas is a physical player that possesses a powerful shot, especially his one-timer, according to Eliteprospects.
Aleksei Malinen, Selected 189th Overall, D, JYP (Liiga), 18-years-old: The Islanders sixth-round pick was ranked by NHL Central Scouting at 41 among European skaters and TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranked him 85th. Malinen had three points (two goals, one assist) in 30 games for JYP. He is said to have handled his own at 17-years-old playing in Finland’s top league. In their scouting report on Malinen Eliteprospects wrote, “when he’s at his best, Malinen can dominate the game as a transitional force capable of going coast-to-coast, blending in crossovers and stick weaves to go through the neutral zone.”
Tomas Machu, Selected 221st Overall, D, HC Vitkovice (Czech Republic): The New York Islanders picked up a sizable defenseman with their last selection of the draft. Standing at 6-foot-4, the righty shot Machu gives the Islanders a big body in the pipeline. He played 13 games on loan for Draci Sumperk in the Czech2 league and had two goals. Machu also played four games on loan for HC Prerov.