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NHL Draft Day 2: Islanders pick another Nelson, forwards and a Good Bogg

After sitting through the pomp of Day 1 without a selection, the Islanders have picks to use on Day 2.

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
The day is ripe for “steals” and “sleepers,” we swear.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There was lots of pre-draft trades around the league, but Wednesday night’s first round of the 2023 NHL Draft was absolutely uneventful and by the book — especially for fans of the New York Islanders, who were spectators after dealing their first-round pick in the Bo Horvat trade.

One highlight of yesterday was Vegas being Vegas, dumping another original Knight to the Penguins (Reilly Smith, who signed an extension last summer) so they could re-sign trade deadline acquisition Ivan Barbashev to a 5-year, $25 million extension.

During the first round, however, there were no trades. No moments for Gary Bettman to ascend to the lectern and quiet a shower of boos with “We have a trade to announce, and I think you’re going to want to hear this” like a teacher on the last day of the school year.

Connor Bedard, in accordance with the prophecies, went #1 to the Blackhawks, who now rival the Penguins in timing multiple tankings for generational players.

NCAA rookie freshman star Adam Fantilli, expected by some to go 2nd overall, was selected 3rd by the Blue Jackets, who now have four big U. of Michigan products. (At 2nd overall Anaheim selected big Swede Forsb center Leo Carlsson, ranked the top European skater by NHL Central Scouting.)

The Coyotes, who are playing the looooong game as they search for an arena site, drafted two big KHL players — though neither was Matvei Michkov, the heralded “second most-talented player in the draft” whose KHL or North American future is least certain.

And what of the Islanders’ pick, which the Canucks flipped to Detroit at the trade deadline? At 17th overall, the Wings selected Axel Sandin Pellikka, “arguably the most offensively gifted defenseman in the draft.”

With no trades during the draft period, action is expected to resume today — and potentially before Rounds 2-7 kick off. Among them, Ottawa’s search for a landing spot for Alex DeBrincat appears to be heating up.

As for the Islanders? They don’t have much trade fodder, though they’re probably searching for a landing place for Josh Bailey. [UPDATE: Indeed, Bailey and a 2026 2nd-rounder is headed to the Chicago Blackhawks. UPDATE 2: But he won’t be a Blackhawk. The Hawks are putting him on waivers for purposes of a buyout.]

And they have five picks, which we’ll fill in here later (and which could change if they move up or down):

2nd Round, 49th overall: Danny Nelson, US NTDP (USHL)

Per the Isles site: Danny “don’t call me Brock” is a 6’3, 212 lbs. left-shooting center. Nelson had 17 points (8G, 9A) in 23 games with the USNTDP Juniors in the USHL, as well as 46 points (20G, 26A) in 61 games with Team USA’s U-18 team. The Maple Grove, MN, native also had seven points (4G, 3A) in seven games with Team USA at the 2023 IIHF World Junior U-18 Championship, winning a gold medal.

  • 3rd Round: No pick as of draft day, dealt to Phoenix in Andrew Ladd dump
  • 4th Round, 113th overall: Jesse Nurmi, LW, 5’ 11”, 168. Kookoo Jr. (Finland)
  • 5th Round, 145th overall: Justin Gill, C, 6’ 1”, 190. Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
  • 6th Round, 177th overall: Zachary Schulz, D, 6’ 1”, 197. US NTDP
  • 7th Round: 209th overall: Dennis Good Bogg, D, 6’ 1”, 191. AIK Jr. (Sweden)

Once the second day kicks off around 11 a.m. EDT, the picks come across quickly, and info is sometimes sparse or very “I saw this one guy say this about this kid.” So discuss away in comments! But we’ll probably hold our full wrapup until after the dust has settled.