The entry draft is complete and next up on the Islanders agenda is free agency, the arena meetings, continued RFA signings, the referendum and finally, training camp. It will be quite the busy offseason for the Isles this year.
Stories on the actual draft and draft party should be ready for early in the week, but for now, it looks like we can take solace in another draft full of potential and building blocks for the future. But to recap, here are the player profiles of those drafted in one convenient spot! (Picks 5-8 all included in the Robbie Russo link.)
|1||1st||5||Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL)|
|2||2nd||34||Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown (USHL)|
Johan Sundström, C/W, Frolunda (SEL)
Andrey Pedan, D, Guelph (OHL)
|5||4th||94||Robbie Russo, D, US (Notre Dame)|
|6||5th||124||John Persson, RW, Red Deer (WHL)|
Brenden Kichton, D, Spokane (WHL)
|8||7th||184||Mitchell Theoret, C, Niagara (OHL)|
Maybe it's the social media talking, but the thing I personally am the most excited about with this crop of players is their excitement about being here. I don't remember the previous draft classes looking this (I don't want to say excited again, but) excited and having such great things to say about where they are going and how happy they are about how things have worked out. Several of the current crop have twitter feeds if some of you weren't aware; have a look through them for pictures and comments about the draft and their ummm, excitement. "Dream come true" seems to be a common theme.
During this story, Katie Strang reported via twitter:
KatieStrangNYI Katie Strang
Dylan Reese over Jack Hillen is a bit strange, but Hillen is an RFA and QOs are not due until tomorrow at 5pm Monday. It could mean anything from him signing a longer term deal to the Isles letting him walk as a UFA. We're getting there! [Newsday Article] [Chris Botta's take at IPB]
In a bit of irony, my hopes for the future became a little more sunshiny after reading this Larry Brooks article at the NY Post regarding the future of the NHL as it pertains to revenue sharing, the salary cap and future team structures. [Similar thoughts by Ken Campbell at THN] It is worth the read, because I'll be spewing rainbows, pots o' gold and bowls of Lucky Charms (TM) after the jump. (It's ma-gic-ly delicious!)
It never made the slightest bit of sense the Islanders' minimum payroll would be dependent on the Rangers' revenues or the Hurricanes would have to spend more because the Maple Leafs make more money year after year after year....
....This isn't about the players. Not today, anyway. This is simply about pointing out the way of the future. The cap is going down. Club maneuverability is going to be limited. Mistakes will be far more difficult to erase. Big market fans will prop up the small market franchises........The only way to prevent chaos -- anarchy! -- under a dramatically reduced cap is to effect a rollback accompanied by amnesty buyouts.
This got me to thinking about how smart and proactive Garth Snow has been with how he has structured this team and with how he is managing the Isles finances and cap situation. Let's think for a second about how he has drafted. He has gone for a bunch of "safe" plays with size and upside that have time to develop (Lee, Nelson, Donovan, etc.) and multi-tool players. He has stacked the defense with inexpensive useful veterans like Eaton, Jurcina and Mottau while the prospects develop.
When teams who are up against the cap (when this rollback is initiated based on new numbers) begin to cut players or want to work out deals, Snow is going to be in a tremendous position to deal from a position of strength and deal depth for players that teams can no longer afford. This could help the Isles not only with finances by not comparing them to league-wide revenues (for cap-floor purposes), but by possibly permitting them to participate in revenue sharing. It will limit the spending that the larger market teams can engage in, and level the playing field a bit.
With the way that the kids who are drafted here are reacting, the support and enthusiasm of the current players and the arena proposal in motion, the final component can be some winning this year. When that is done, the Island is going to be a much more appealing resting spot for some players who may be "a piece" or hopefully, "the final piece" to the puzzle and a return to the glory of the early 80s and the obliteration of the doom and gloom of the ownership debacles of the last 20 or so years. That would be one hell of a 40th anniversary present wouldn't it?
Tampa Bay Lightning gets defenseman Bruno Gervais from New York Islanders for future considerations - St. Petersburg Times I hope the end has Bruno misquoted or taken out of context here.
Snapshot of Day 2
*On assessing the picks, General manager Garth Snow deferred to Trent Klatt.
Islanders Select Eight Players On Day Two Of 2011 NHL Entry Draft - New York Islanders - News
Second Round Picks Mayfield (34th overall) and Sundstrom (50th overall) Highlight Isles’ Second-Day Haul
The Life Of An OHL Plug [Mitchell Theoret's Blog]
For those interested in the 40th anniversary patch on the right shoulder of the draft pics, we have some pics. [Fanshot]
Visit the team site for a bunch of player interviews from the draft...there are too many to embed and the links don't work exactly right when clipped...they would all go to the first in the series of whatever is currently on the page 1st.
Around the NHL:
Ryan Smyth stuck in limbo - The Globe and Mail
They should trade Smyth to an NHL/AHL plug as far away from home as possible. And when he retires, send that team a compensatory pick.
NHL teams start to think small at draft - 2011 NHL Entry Draft
With speed becoming more important, size was less of a consideration at this year's NHL Entry Draft, where 14 players under 5-foot-10 were chosen.
Good timing for four NHL divisions - NHL - Yahoo! Canada Sports
Winnipeg's return to the league opens the door for realignment in 2012, and time zones are the way to go. - National Hockey League news Drastic NHL Realignment in store soon.
A look at the Entry Draft by the numbers - 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Interesting facts and figures from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.