The New York Islanders surprised many with their selection at 23rd overall in Friday’s first round of the 2019 NHL Draft, but they are high on Swedish winger Simon Holmström and clearly think a couple of injuries are what kept others from rating him so highly.
If Friday’s picks beyond 20 or so were anyone’s guess — a handful of projected first-rounders are still on the table as the second round begins — today’s run-through will be all over the map.
The second day of the draft (beginning at 1 p.m. EDT) proceeds much more quickly, so expect the Islanders’ four remaining picks (barring trades) today to fly by. They have one pick late in the second round (57th), then don’t pick again until the fifth (147th), sixth (178th) and seventh (209th) rounds.
You never know, maybe they’ll find an Anders Lee.
- Coverage of Holmstrom, with some good quotes from various draft grades in our post, quotes from Lou in the Post, and from Holmstrom himself in Newsday about getting past his injuries (hip surgery, thumb ligament): LHH | Isles | Newsday | Post
- Home openers were announced yesterday. The Isles open on a Friday, at Nassau Coliseum, vs. the Capitals. [LHH | Isles | NHL]
- Our post lists all 31 first-round choices. You can also see local site coverage through this SBN NHL Draft feed.
- NHL GMs — who will give Kevin Hayes $7M per without knowing next year’s cap — say the cap uncertainty has stalled trades. Also: Anders Lee and Lou still at status quo. [Athletic]
Yesterday was filled with the anticipation of player movement — Nashville sounds ready to move PK Subban — based on “sources hearing” of talks among general managers around the league. So you still get the sense there could be big movement as the free agency listening period nears. You know nothing will come out of Lou’s tight-lipped shop, but we’ve maybe got this tidbit:
In addition to Leddy & Hickey, Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang is very much in play.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 22, 2019
The biggest “reach” of the first round, though he was still expected to be a first-rounder:
- Nice resource here, an averaging of 60 rankings to show you where the top 155 or so daft prospects are ranked. [Silver Seven]
- Draft report cards: Reaches for half the first round! [On the Forecheck]
- Draft report card: Everyone is a fit! [Pronman at the Athletic]
- The cagey word battle continues in Toronto, where Kyle Dubas says it’s no guarantee the Leafs would match an RFA offer sheet to Mitch Marner. [NHL]
- Taylor Hall is in no rush to discuss a contract extension, but Ray Shero assures himself that’s not a “red flag.” [NHL]
- Jesse Puljujarvi has demanded a trade from the Oilers, and is willing to play in Europe if it doesn’t get done. [Sportsnet]
- Gary Bettman was booed (naturally) to start the draft until he brought out the Sedin twins to announce to the home fans that their numbers 22 and 23 would be retired. [NHL]
- Expansion Seattle is confident it can do this thing right. [NHL]