The New York Islanders finished up the second day of the draft with three more Americans, including a third dip into the U.S. National Team Development Program, another OHLer, and a USHLer who is part of twins bound for NCAA Michigan State.
Jacob Pivonka, C
At 103rd overall, the Islanders selected Jacob Pivonka, a 5’11” center in the USNTDP. Different rankings had Pivonka anywhere from 96 to 182.
Pivonka is the son of former NHLer Michal Pivonka, whose defection from then-Czechoslovakia to play for the Capitals is detailed here.
Pivonka has done well with the U.S. national team, including the WJC and with the USNTDP. His journey and skills are detailed at USA Hockey here. Now he’s headed to NCAA Notre Dame, the same place that helped refine Anders Lee’s game.
Blade Jenkins, LW
In the fourth round at 134 overall, the Isles selected left winger Blade Jenkins of OHL Saginaw. Great hockey name, great stage name.
He had offers for NCAA but he took the OHL route, where he has done well for Saginaw. The NHL Central Scouting had him ranked 26th among North American skaters.
“From what people tell me, they like me because I’m a big power forward with high hockey IQ,” he said in this MLive profile. “I used my size to my advantage. I have some playmaking ability and that helps as you move up levels in hockey.”
One potential positive sign here is he’s one of the youngest players in the draft, so even more room to grow and progress considering the draft requires making a call on every eligible player in the middle of June.
Christian Krygier, D
In the seventh round at 196 overall they selected Christian Krygier, who is one half of the twin defensemen headed to Michigan State (after previously committing and then withdrawing intent to go to Wisconsin). Krygier played with USHL Lincoln and is listed at 6’2” and 192 lbs.
Christian and his brother, Cole, are sons of former NHLer Todd Krygier. Cole was selected five picks later by the Florida Panthers.
Christian has played some with U.S. national tournament teams, too (Five Nations Team, Ivan Hlinka Team). He’s a longshot, as seventh rounders are, but so it goes.