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.
Anthony Richard, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
The Islanders don't draft from Quebec often, and hardly take French Canadians at all, but fun-sized Anthony Richard (pronounced the hockey way: Rish-ard) might make them mix it up a little.
In his second year in the Q, Richard had a ridiculous 91 points in 66 games, including a team-leading 43 goals. Scouts say he's quick of both feet and hands. That's the good news. The bad news is that "lacks size" at 5-9 (maybe 5-10, depending on where you look) and "lacks discipline" in the form of some scrappy play and questionable decision-making.
In other words, he's a serious longshot. But in a league with electric smaller players like Tyler Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau, Richard might be a shot worth taking.
Fast skater that seems even quicker due to his constant motion .. dangles in and out of traffic areas, adding pressure that causes opponents to defensive breakdowns .. interprets game quickly in the offensive zone .. excellent puck control at top speeds .. possesses the capacity to corrals passes quickly without losing a step .. controls the puck well at top speeds .. doesn't have a great shot but releases it so quickly with little warning that it catches opponents off-guard .. undersized forward who will have to improve his overall strength .. hesitant in his decision-making in the defensive zone .. can get in trouble when game is played tight due to his smaller size .. consistency from game to game remains a concern.
BSN Avalanche looks at Richard through a burgundy-and-blue lens:
Unfortunately, all of those skills comes in a small package. He's short and lacks strength, making him easy to push off the puck. He also tends to float during plays, showing a lack of determination to stay with a play. He loses his position sometimes, preferring to follow the puck than the play as a whole. He tries to make up for his lack of size by being aggressive on the ice, though that generally translates to cheap shots and bad decisions.
Video evidence that he actually exists:
(shift starts at 1:50.) Richard - No. 9 - sprints to the net and picks up a rebound.