Hey, remember back in June, when the Islanders had no picks in the first round of the draft because they traded theirs and Matt Moulson to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek, who didn't re-sign after four exciting but ultimately fruitless, frustrating months? Then Garth Snow went to work and came out with not one but two opening round picks after trades with the Oilers and Lightning? And one of those picks was an almost consensus top half of the draft talent that no one expected to be around at No. 16, let alone end up an Islander?
Of course you do.
Nobody would have guessed Mathew Barzal would be an Islander, but he is one now, signing his three-year entry level contract with the club today.
Barzal's exploits with the Seattle Thunderbirds are impressive (12 goals and 45 assists in 44 games last season) and his overall game is creative and productive for both himself and his linemates. He's also capable of getting a baseball over the plate, which is a plus for company softball games.
It's highly likely that Barzal returns to the WHL this season regardless of how he looks at camp which starts - aw shoot - next week. That's no slight on him as the Islanders have very few forward slots available and several viable youngsters who could fill them (which includes one notable continuing absence).
As Arthur Staple reported at the time, the Islanders would not have traded Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for the 16th pick unless Barzal was available. They got their man and now they've got him signed.