NHL DRAFT DETAILS
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Round 1: Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.; TV: NBCSN
Rounds 2-7: Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m.; TV: NHL Network
No. 23 (First Round)
No. 57 (Second Round, via Calgary)
No. 147 (Fifth Round)
No. 178 (Sixth Round)
No. 209 (Seventh Round)
The Islanders surprised the entire NHL -- probably even surprised themselves -- with how good they were this past season. Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz provided instant credibility, and got the Isles to the second round of the playoffs.
For the Isles to take the next step, they're going to need more scoring and center depth. They were spread thin when Valtteri Filppula went down late in the regular season, and whether they bring him back or add another veteran, they'll need somebody for their top-nine long-term.
If they can't re-sign Robin Lehner, the Isles will also need a goalie. Ilya Sorokin should eventually come over from the KHL, but it won't be next season and the Isles will need more options in the organization. Jakub Skarek also appears to be a ways away.
So, with that in mind, here are some possible targets in the 2019 NHL Draft for the Islanders...
PHILIP TOMASINO, C, Niagara (OHL)
The Isles should be thrilled if they're able to nab Tomasino in the first. His speed will translate very well in today's speed-and-skill NHL, and he has good playmaking skills. While there could be some growing pains with respect to the physical aspect of the game, Tomasino has the upside of a top-six center. He doesn't turn 18 until July.
RYAN SUZUKI, C, Barrie (OHL)
Suzuki is another center the Isles should hope falls to No. 23. He brings strong skills and has some pedigree as well. He's the younger brother of Nick Suzuki, whom Montreal acquired before the 2018-19 season in the Max Pacioretty trade. Nick was taken at No. 13 by Vegas in the 2017 draft. If both Tomasino and Suzuki are gone, it will be tough for the Isles to grab an impact center in the first.
BOBBY BRINK, RW, Sioux City (USHL)
If the centers are gone, the Isles could do much worse than grabbing Brink. The diminutive winger, listed at 5-foot-8, had 35 goals and 68 points this past season for the Sioux City Musketeers. He projects as a great playmaker, and is considered to be a smart player who makes the right decisions. Skating is not one of his strong suits, though.
NILS HOGLANDER, LW, Rogle (SHL)
Another small winger at 5-foot-9 who played against men this past season in the Swedish League. He had seven goals and seven assists in 50 games as an 18-year-old. Creativity and hands are standout traits, and he'd be a fine choice for the Isles in the first round depending how the first 22 picks shake out.
SPENCER KNIGHT, G, US National Team Development Program
Knight is the top goaltender in this draft class. He projects as a starter and would give the Isles a huge boost as far as their organizational goaltending depth is concerned. If there are doubts about re-signing Lehner by draft time, Lamoriello might have to consider adding Knight to give the club another option for the coming seasons.