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Islanders Set: Lamoriello Talks NHL Draft, 4 Potential Picks

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Denton Mateychuk, NHL Draft, New York Islanders
Denton Mateychuk (Photo-via Moose Jaw Warriors Twitter)

“Like every draft, you know, there’s good players, you know, and the question is, there still at a certain age where there’s unknowns, but you know, we feel we’ll get a good pick,” New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday evening.

The New York Islanders hold the 13th selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, which gets underway tonight at 7 PM ET on ESPN.

The question is does Lou Lamoriello look to move the pick?

Per Bruce Garrioch of TSN, the New York Islanders are one of the more active teams in terms of listening to offers for their picks.

Lamoriello has said often, dating back to the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, that hockey trades is how he will likely have to improve this roster. Trading the 13th pick is one way to do it.

“I think, like everything else, you’re open to anything,” Lamoriello said Wednesday. “When you draft 13th, in other words, you’re open to anything that’s going to make you better…but you’re not going to do something foolish.”

“But you’re open. You have to be open. There’s always conversations.”

From the very beginning, it made sense for the Islanders to move their pick in a package for an already established player. That could be the case later on this evening or the Islanders may have a prospect in mind that they want, who comes in ranked lower than 13.

Who knows…

At NYI Hockey Now we have discussed picks based on mock drafts, the latest rankings and with the 2022 NHL Draft hours, away here are a few draft prospects that would be a strong fit for the New York Islanders at no. 13.

Kevin Korchinski, D

Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Kevin Korchinski would be a strong fit for the New York Islanders. The left-handed defenseman is projected to be a top-four defenseman at the NHL level but at 6’2, 185 lbs, he needs to still grow into his body.

His stat line of four goals and 61 assists should tell you all you need to know about what he is about.

The 18-year-old is a puck-moving defenseman and has been classified as a breakout machine. The Islanders are a team who needs players on the backend that can help transition up the ice. Noah Dobson showed signs that he could be that guy, while Ryan Pulock is that guy when healthy–which he wasn’t in 2021-22.

As for where he ranks, TSN’s Bob Mackenzie has him at no. 11, TSN’s Craig Button has him at no. 10, while Elite Prospects has him at no. 19.

Denton Mateychuk, D

Up next is another left-handed defenseman (see the trend) in Denton Mateychuk, who had a strong year with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. In 65 games the 17-year-old defenseman notched 64 points, with 13 goals and 51 assists.

In 10 playoff games, Mateychuk had one goal and nine assists.

At 5’11, 180, he is a bit on the smaller side but like many undersized players, has an elite skating ability that is instrumental in creating offense and transitioning.

Both Bob Mackenzie and Craig Button rank Mateychuk at no. 24, with Elite Prospects having him all the way up at no. 8.

If Denton Mateychuk is high on the New York Islanders list, could this be a situation in which Lou Lamoriello looks to trade down?

Frank Nazar, C/RW

Okay, time for the forwards.

Frank Nazar, a native of Michigan, played his hockey in the United States Development Program (USHL). In 2021-22, Nazar scored 15 goals with 20 assists in 24 games. He only took four penalties, which showcases his discipline besides his offensive talent.

Nazar played for Team USA at the World Junior Championships this past year, as he scored three goals with six assists in six games.

What Nazar, at 5’10, 181 lbs does so well is that he draws the opposition to him, which creates more open ice and opportunities for his teammates. The 18-year-old has committed to playing at the University of Michigan in 2022-23.

His rankings comes in five’s, with Elite Prospects listing him at no. 5, Bob Mackenzie listing him at no. 16, and Craig Button listing him at no. 25.

Brad Lambert, C/RW

The nephew of newly appointed New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert is an interesting topic. Brad Lambert has fallen considerably in rankings, after initially being projected as a top pick.

That’s because in four years in Liiga, he played for three different teams and none showcased an ability to be consistent on the offensive side of the puck. This past season he only scored seven goals and had 15 points in 46 games.

The potential is there for the 5’10, 181 lbs forward but the question becomes is he worth the risk at 13.

Lambert’s rights are owned by the Saskatoon Blades (WHL) if he decides to play in North America in 2022-23.

Again this could be another situation in which the Islanders trade down if they are interested. Bob Mackenzie ranks Lambert at no. 16, while Craig Button has him at no. 42. Elite Prospects has him at no. 14.

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