On day two, the Islanders came away with five defenseman to replenish the team's blue line prospects. They even managed to make a bit of history with the selection of Andong Song, the first Chinese born player to be drafted by an NHL team.
The 2015 draft for the Islanders was one in which they could pick the best players available and not for need. They already have a strong group of prospects in the system and now they have the building blocks to make the team very good for many years to come.
Mathew Barzal has all the potential in the world to be an impact player in the NHL when he is fully developed. Anthony Beauvillier also has the makings of a strong player once he is NHL ready.
The moves to get into the first round and make two good picks were enough to garner the praises of the hockey media.
CBS Sports' Adam Gretz wrote:
Granted, to pull it off they had to part with a former top-five pick, Griffin Reinhart, by sending him to the Edmonton Oilers for the No. 16 and 33 picks in the draft, but it was still an impressive haul when you consider where they started the day.The five players the Islanders selected on Saturday are no slouches either. Mitchell Vande Sompel, Parker Wotherspoon, Ryan Pilon, Andong Song (172nd) and Petter Hansson all have the ability to be NHL talents. The Islanders' head scout Trent Klatt was surprised to see those players available when they were.
After making the initial trade with Edmonton, they sent the No. 33 pick they received from the Oilers and the No. 72 pick to Tampa Bay for the No. 28 pick.
Reinhart still has plenty of potential but his future doesn't look as bright as it did a couple of years, while the Islanders were able to get two really good prospects, including Mathew Barzal at No. 16, in exchange for him. Had he not been available the Islanders would not have made the trade with Edmonton.
"I can't believe these guys were there when we picked," Klatt told Newsday. "It just speaks to the depth of the draft. More than one of these guys has a legitimate chance to play in the NHL -- not just play but be good, effective players."
Sports Illustrated's Allan Murr was equally impressed with the players the Islanders selected and gave them an "A" for this year's draft:
Garth Snow is a wizard. He came into the draft without a first rounder and came away with Mathew Barzal (16), a flashy pivot who's drawn comparisons to Joe Sakic, and Anthony Beauvillier (28), a 42-goal scorer who has some Brendan Gallagher in his game. Ryan Pilon (147) was ranked 24th by Central Scouting and has top-four potential. AnDong Song (172) is the first Chinese-born draftee, but he's no novelty. There's a chance he makes his way to Brooklyn in time.Management will now turn their attention to free agency, which opens on Wednesday, but the Islanders' front office has already gotten off to a good start with the draft that they had this weekend.