The 2015 NHL Entry Draft is Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th at Sunrise, Florida.
I have no idea who the Islanders are going to draft this year. And neither do you.
With no picks in the first two rounds, the annual hemming and hawing over who the team will add to their prospect pool has been muted. The Islanders' first pick is No. 72 (courtesy of a trade with the Panthers), followed by their own pick at No. 82. Who's around at that time is anyone's guess.
But by using some deductive reasoning and a healthy dose of why not, we can take a shot at spotting some young players the Islanders might have their eyes on.
The Extremely Flawed Methodology:
The exercise examines four free rankings of prospects:
- TSN's Bob McKenzie's Top 75
- TSN's Craig Button's Top 100
- Central Scouting Service's Top 100 North American Skaters
- Central Scouting Service's Top 100 European Skaters
I isolated prospects ranked between 65 and 85 (including McKenzie's "Honorable Mentions") and looked for the commonalities, give or take a few spots. The draft never follows any of these lists exactly, but I'm trying to cast a wide enough net to make this realistic.
The Islanders love drafting centers, so I tried to focus on that position. I don't expect them to use any of their picks on defenseman given the surplus they have now. I also ignored goalies for the same reason and because drafting goalies always screws everything up.
Their draft record is all over the place in terms of leagues and teams, but one or two players profiled might be from programs they're familiar with.
And that's it. It's obviously highly scientific.
If I get one right, I got lucky. Two right and I'm a genius. If I hit a trifecta, the Islanders might name me Vice President Paranormal Scouting and Future Pre-Cognition. If I come up empty, I've just wasted five minutes of your time, which is a thing we do with regularity around here. Or Garth Snow could trade both of those third rounders for a second round pick and render this entire enterprise moot.
No matter! The Draft looms closer. First up...
Yakov Trenin, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
In his first year in North America, Trenin finished second on Gatineau with 67 points. His 49 assists led the team. He had 11 points in the playoffs as the Olympiques made the second round before losing to eventual league champion Rimouski. His draft rankings are a little scattered with Central Scouting having him the highest at 48th among all North American skaters.
Trenin's size and position make him seem like a decent bet to be on the Islanders board towards the third round (provided he's still available). From videos, he seems like a shifty skater, which is nice to see in a moderately big dude.
From Button's profile at TSN:
Trenin was playing the wing earlier in the season and he seemed uncertain about his responsibilities at that position. Moving to centre better exemplifies his abilities. He has good awareness and wants to get the puck to his wingers and allow them to get scoring chances. He's very poised with the puck. Becoming quicker and faster and improving his shot will make him that much more dangerous.
From the Nations Network in a very detailed write-up:
Yakov Trenin is a player that I like very much. Having a 6'2" forward who is scoring over a point a game is a very good sign as well as having had some success at centre. All of the statistics suggest that he is a very good bet. He was one of the best players on one of the best possession teams in the QMJHL. His normal and his even strength numbers are very strong, though he has a high number of secondary assists (something CHL scouts care highly about) which reflects strong teammates he is playing with.
Actual video evidence that he exists:
Not a goal, but Trenin seems unafraid to go into those "dirty areas" Butch Goring loves talking about.