"Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda"

I am disgusted every time I hear about another team's rookies finding success in the NHL. Although we got Tavares the year he was drafted, I want to vomit every time I have to listen to hockey analysts raving about Chris Kreider.

Given we haven't finished above eighth place in 10 years I took a look back at the last 12 years to figure out who we've been drafting and who we could have had to roughly gauge the quality of our scouts. This list of "coulda hads" is as follows:

Jeff Skinner, Erik Karlson, Claude Giroux, Martin Hanzal, Mike Green, Zach Parise, Jason Spezza (and wouldn't have traded Zdeno Chara), and Marian Gaborik among others...see appendix below.

Conclusion: Our scouts suck.

Obviously hindsight is 20/20 but if you are undergoing a rebuild and don't want to spend any money, strong scouting is a prerequisite for success and from reviewing the historical first round draft list, I seriously question our scouting ability. Passing on Parise, Getzlaf and Perry in 2003 was a complete sin, and not spotting Skinner, Karlson or Giroux in '10, '08 and '06 also speaks to a lack of an eye for talent. I believe this is a lingering problem because these latter misses can not be blamed on Milbury (a.k.a. "Dinglebury").

I hope Nino, Bailey and Okposo prove me wrong but, as many of you have continually pointed out, this organization needs a complete management overhaul before we can reasonably expect to see a quality product on the ice. No surprise we've been leaving talent on the table.


2011: Strome...jury is still out on this one but looks like he's doing pretty well

2010: Nino's 1 goal...we could have had Jeff Skinner

2009: Picked JT...good move (that's 1 solid pick out of 12 I will list here = Jim Abbot's batting average)

2008: Picked Bailey...we could have had Michael Del Zotto (a top 4 d-man), Erik Karlson (a top 4 d-man who scored 19G & 59A) Tyler Myers (a 6'8" top 4 d-man), John Carlson (a....seeing a pattern here?)

2007: Isles finished 14th the year before and we traded away our pick for a Crying Oiler named Ryan Smyth ( Shatenkirk went 14th but actually not a bad year to waste your pick

....heading toward the Mike "Dinglebury" years, here's where it gets good

2006: Picked Okposo...could've had Claude Giroux (nice!)

2005: Picked Ryan O'Marra (aka Ryan O'Who?)...could've had Hanzal, Kindl, Oshie, Downie, instead we got nobody

2004: Picked Petteri Nokelainen... passed on Travis Zajac, Andrej Meszaros and Mike Green

2003: Robert Nilsson (traded with O'Marra and the '07 pick to Edmonton for Smyth)...could've had Zach Parise!!!, Ryan Getzlaf!!! Mike Richards, Corey Perry!!!

2002: Picked Sean Bergenheim...the Isles finished 8th that year...and still didn't make it past round 1 (thanks for making me an Islanders fan dad!!!)

2001: We traded our first round pick and Chara for Yashin...could have had Spezza (in all fairness to Dinglebury, that trade did get us to a comfortable 5th in the east playoff spot)

2000: If the Islanders move one day, I think we can call this draft year "the beginning of the end"...WE PICKED RICK DIPIETRO...we could have had Heatly, Gaborik or Hartnell

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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