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New York Islanders

Islanders Keep Pick 20; Draft a Steal in Cole Eiserman



Cole Eiserman on the Draft Stage // Photo Courtesy of @NYIslanders on X

Despite rampant speculation in the lead-up to the draft, the New York Islanders opted to keep their 20th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft to select Cole Eiserman. The selection comes as an absolute slam-dunk selection for the Islanders, a team desperate for scoring.

Eiserman, 17, played with the USNTDP and scored the most goals in program history. Eiserman turns 18 on August 29th. His one-timer is lethal, and he was great on the powerplay, scoring 21 powerplay goals this past season.

While he won’t help immediately, adding the US National Team Development Program’s all-time leading scorer is undoubtedly a great addition. Eiserman immediately becomes the Islanders’ top prospect within the organization.

The other guys in the top five of that record book? Cole Caufield, Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane, and Will Smith. That’s some very elite company to be in.

Eiserman was ranked as high as 5th in Craig Button’s final prospect rankings, with the consensus for Eiserman typically being around 10th-12th overall.

The drawback to his game is his inability to create enough chances for himself. He’s also young. He only turns 18 at the end of August, just two weeks ahead of the cutoff line for the 2025 NHL Draft. However, talking to the media after being selected, Eiserman said, “I felt like they really kind of understood me as a player and I always respect people like that because it takes a different mindset, I think, to understand how I think and how I play the game. So it was very comfortable.”

For those feeling some deja vu, back during his draft in 2018, experts similarly touted Oliver Wahlstrom as a high-volume scorer. Wahlstrom scored 72 goals in 125 games in the program. Eiserman scored 127 in 119 games. Eiserman is the real deal, folks.

It’s a slam-dunk pick. The biggest critiques center around Eiserman’s playmaking ability, but he can skate just fine. Remember– one of the big knocks on Wahlstrom was his skating. Wahlstrom’s game never came around, but he never put up the numbers Eiserman has racked up.

Eisermen is committed to playing at Boston University for the upcoming season, where he’s set to skate on the same team as Macklin Celebrini if he doesn’t sign with the Sharks. 

College hockey will be a significant scene for Islanders fans next year, as last year’s second-round pick, Danny Nelson, will play at Notre Dame again next year. Both players will head to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Friendship Four. On November 29th, Nelson and Notre Dame play Harvard, while Eiserman and BU battle Merrimack. If both win or both lose, they will then play on November 30th.

Had the Islanders kept the pick to select a player who was a reach or years away, keeping the pick would’ve been a big mistake. At this moment, drafting Eiserman was a home run and overall just excellent value for the Islanders. 

The Islanders still have multiple second-round picks to use tomorrow in any potential trades. Players like Nikolaj Ehlers are still available for trade. So is Rutger McGroarty

Tonight, the Islanders added a goalscorer for the future. They’ll have five more draft picks tomorrow unless they make a trade.