What determines a successful NHL Entry Draft? Landing the player(s) you and your scouts had hoped for when you first sat down at the draft table? Looking back 5 years after the draft and realizing your 4th round pick was better then your 1st? Rolling the dice on a player like Kirill Kabanov, watching him grow and transform into a young adult when nobody thought he could or would? Although numbers will always speak for themselves, potential is the one intangible scouts, GM’s and owners always have trouble putting their finger on. Let’s look back to 1999 when Canucks GM Brian Burke made one of the biggest draft-day splash and dash of all time when he landed not one but two Sedin’s after a series of surprising moves.
1. The wheeling and dealing began when Vancouver sent defenseman Bryan McCabe and a 2000 first-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks (which became Pavel Vorobiev, who did next to nothing) for the fourth overall pick (which landed with the Rangers and became Brendl)
2. Brian Burke then sent the No. 4 selection and a pair of third-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top overall pick.
3. Next, Vancouver sent the top pick to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers for the No. 2 selection and a conditional 2000 third-rounder. The deal was that the Thrashers would take Stefan, leaving the Canucks to take the Sedins in sequential order.
Really, who can resist a pair of Swedish twins? *Credit to AOL
Daniel and Henrik - The Sedin Twins (HD) (via zahrauzman)
Fast forward to 2012, the NY Islanders retain the #4 selection in the 1st round of the 2012 NHL Draft. After Ken Morrow watched the Edmonton Oilers become a dynasty on lottery night, Scott Howson on the other hand, well to quote Chris Botta’s tweet.
"Someone, anyone, please give Scott Howson a hug". - Chris Botta
Since the Islanders did not win ‘Fail for Nail’, other prospects can now step forward. After an injury riddled season with 2 concussions and a lower body injury, it may not be the worst thing for this organization to fail on getting Nail.
At number 4, the Islanders could select the big Swede, Filip Forsberg or Russian thrill Mikhail Grigorenko. Furthermore, if the Islanders go against the norm (when do we ever see that!!!) and pick a defenseman, don’t be surprised if Ryan Murrary and/or Matt Dumba are still on the board.
Draft day may seem like a life time away for Islanders fans (being that we’re not in the playoffs), but I get the feeling we will see some wheeling and dealing that night. Edmonton doesn’t need another forward. In fact, they are in the same position as the Islanders, helpless on defense, with young forwards maturing into their roles backed up by a veteran goaltender. If you’re Garth Snow, do you consider working out a deal with Edmonton to trade for the top pick and in turn, flip it with Columbus so they get the kid they wanted from the beginning? Maybe Rick Nash could be part of that trade. The other option could be to sit tight and grab the best player available, take your friendly cap hit and move onto round 2. How about trading the pick for a player entering his prime that could give this team the secondary scoring it so desperately needs?
My gut feeling is we’ll take the big Swede at #4, if he is available. With one year left on his contract, the Isles will be forced to return him to the Swedish Elite League for another year of development however GM Garth Snow may already be fantasizing over the idea of having Strome center Nino and Forsberg one day. (I know I am). Joking aside, if the Islanders are going to indeed build through the draft and take serious pride in that, the question remains, is this a playoff team next year?
This year’s free agency period may be weaker then year's past but it definitely must be taken more seriously then 29 other NHL teams. Garth Snow is running out of options and time. The idea of trading may in fact have to be the best route to improve this organization. Overpaying worked for Mark Streit, however not for Paul Martin. Parenteau, Moulson and Grabner were great waiver pick ups but Rolston, Pandolfo, Staios and Reasoner did not provide equal value. Bridgeport is has been transformed into an AHL powerhouse yet when will see the fruits of the labor at the pro level? It seems that as this article was written, I have constantly asked questions. I think it’s finally time Garth answers what all the fans are thinking…….when will this team make the playoffs?
Filip Forsberg's Player Profile
A dynamic skater with stellar offensive instincts, Filip Forsberg is a star on the rise in Sweden. At 17, he was allowed to play ten games for Leksands IF in the HockeyAllsvenskan and he even scored a goal during that time. Forsberg has an elusive stride that makes him very difficult to contain. His speed is extraordinary for a player so young. He carries the puck well on his stick and he is very poised. He is not very big but he is very strong. He can maneuver through tight spaces with ease. Forsberg is an offensive threat who has a quick shot, crisp passes and soft hands. He can dangle around opposing defencemen and come in on goal very well. He was one of only a few 1994-born players to represent their countries at the 2011 World Under-18s, helping Sweden win silver after the heartbreaking overtime loss to the United States. Forsberg took the place of an injured Sebastian Collberg and he did not look out of place at all. He impressed many with his slick skating and his great on-ice vision. Forsberg is expected to stay with Leksand for the entire Allsvenskan season and he will definitely become a fan favourite there. He is in need of filling out but that will happen over time. Submitted by: Margann Laurissa @ MYNHLDRAFT.COM
Christmas in June: Filip Forsberg
Filip Forsberg: The next best Swede?
Statistical Analysis at EliteProspects.com
Filip Forsberg Highlights (via HockeyVideoHD)