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New York Islanders

Islanders’ Draft Day Two Preview: Trade(s) Coming?

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Photo Via Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The first night of the NHL Draft has come and gone, and the New York Islanders opted to keep their 20th overall pick, using it to select Cole Eiserman.

If you asked Team President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello, the team never wanted to move the pick. He also said that had the Islanders known Eiserman would’ve fallen down to 18th, he likely wouldn’t have even made last month’s trade with Chicago.

Eiserman immediately jumps into the top prospect spot for the Islanders, where his goalscoring prowess is something the organization could desperately use.

Islanders Picks Today

Now, attention turns to day two of the draft, which begins at 11:30 on the East Coast. The Islanders enter, holding the 54th and 61st picks in the second round before waiting until the fourth round for the 115th pick, the 147th in the fifth round, and the 179th in the sixth round. The Islanders do not own a seventh-round pick, as it was traded to St. Louis for Robert Bortuzzo. The third-round pick belongs to Toronto, as the pick was traded last season for Pierre Engvall.

The Islanders will look to add depth within their organizational ranks with the draft today, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about this class. However, there is a good chance the Islanders will deal out one of their two second-round picks. Whether that’s done to shed salary or to improve the roster via a player acquisition will remain to be seen.

Who’s Out There

Some players available at pick 54 could include wingers Ryder Ritchie and Maxim Massé

Ritchie had a strong showing for Canada’s U18 team and was a top rookie in the WHL a year ago, but he had a down year, so his stock slipped. He’s got great skill, but overall inconsistency has hurt his draft stock. He also plays with a lot of speed, something the Islanders system lacks.

Massé is an incredibly gifted shooter with great puck skills and an IQ to match. However, his skating is a big problem, holding him back this past season. He also struggled to consistently put forth his best effort. However, I think you can work out some skating issues, and if he’s there at 54 and the Islanders are picking, this would be my pick. His upside could be a top-line scoring winger and an overall offensive weapon.

Trades?

High-upside players are the route for the Islanders draft this year, and both Ritchie and Massé have high ceilings. They can play a significant role in the Islanders’ future if they can reach their potential. Regardless, I still think the Islanders should be trading one of the picks today or at least making a trade to free up cap space.

While Kevin Cheveldayoff threw some cold water on a potential Nikolaj Ehlers trade yesterday, it’s possible his quote served as a smokescreen. Rutger McGroarty is also still available, as Winnipeg will continue to work through calls on those players.

The Islanders’ uncertain future of Jean-Gabriel Pageau will likely be decided today. If he’s not moved by this evening, the odds of him leaving drop drastically. The Islanders need space, so I think something gets done today, one way or another.

Settle in and enjoy day two of the NHL Draft! We’ll keep you updated here at NYI Hockey Now.