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 this year. 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.
For more on the completely haphazard way in which we picked who to profile, please see the first entry in the series.
Filip Ahl, HV71 J20 (Swedish Under-20 League)
|6'-4"||212||6/12/1997 (18yo)||Swedish||W||Hon. Mention||74||9|
Massive Swedish teenager Filip Ahl could be picked early in the second round at this year's draft. Or he could drop to the third round. Or slide anywhere in between or beyond.
Whether a team jumps at him quickly or waits to see where he falls, they'll be tantalized by his size and strength. Reports have Ahl as a good but not fast skater with a big shot that can do serious damage to a goalie's physical person. The word "hulking" is linked to Ahl in the same way the qualifier "Incredible" is linked to the actual Hulk.
It will take a little luck for the Islanders to snag him, but with time and a contract already signed in Sweden, they could let him develop his frame and skating before unleashing Godzill-Ahl onto the world.
From Future Considerations' conversation with NHL Scouting Director Dan Stewart:
While playing in Sweden's J20 league for HV 71, the hulking left winger has posted 16 points, including five goals in 12 games, and has appeared in one game with the professional club in the SHL. For a big forward, Ahl is surprisingly mobile and has good lateral movement along the ice to free him up to unleash his explosive shot.
Stewart tells us that Ahl's shot is "a very hard shot that on more than one occasion has seen a goalie ducking to get out of the way of it."
From The Hockey Writers:
He clearly has the size, but the issue is he doesn't always seem to use it. Granted, he's still filling out and learning from experienced players, so it should come in due time. He does find ways to win puck battles in the corners of the ice. The aspect of his game I find most valuable is how he can be inserted anywhere in the lineup to contribute, whether it's in a scoring role or a checking line role. Either way, he has the NHL potential to last in the league for quite some time.
Video evidence that he actually exists:
Iso video highlighting all of Ahl's shifts in a game (or couple of games).