A few days ago in the Comments thread on the forward depth chart, Rich posted the following question:
"Forget about the 'untouchable' argument. I know you were against the Isles trading down twice to take Josh Bailey. Can you tell me your logic on what you think the Isles should have done? Do you think they should have drafted Schenn? Was stockpiling picks wrong in your opinion or did Snow not draft correctly? We have a good sample size for Bailey at the NHL level. Once he adds size and maturity I think he will be a second line center. That seems like a good pick to me."
I've been consistent on this subject going back to Point Blank 1.0 in June. I've written countless times about Josh Bailey's class, professionalism and impressive skill level. In terms of how he conducts himself, especially in the face of adversity and criticism, this teenager could teach a course to a few much older members of the Islanders' traveling party. I've even laid out all the picks the Islanders added as a result of the move, which some interpreted as praise when I was merely stating the facts in the interest of fairness. Re-purposing that note, here's the final scorecard:
Could Have Taken 5th
(pick one): Mikkel Boedker, Nikita Filatov, Luke Schenn, Josh Bailey
Instead Came Away With...
Aaron Ness (2nd round)
Jyri Niemi (3rd round)
David Ullstrom (4th round)
Toronto's second round pick in 2009
Islanders insiders also say they never would have drafted wild card Russian right wing Kirill Petrov if they didn't have the extra third round pick. Petrov, taken with the third of their third-rounders, is the franchise's most high-end prospect not currently in the NHL or AHL. Nevertheless, I believe you should only judge this decision on the facts - not the Petrov equation. Besides, if the Russian ever makes an impact, it is years away.
The Accounting: The Islanders traded the 5th overall pick to Toronto for the 7th overall pick, plus a second round pick in 2009 and third round pick in 2008. They traded the 7th overall pick to Nashville for the 9th overall pick and a second round pick in 2008. They later traded the third round pick acquired from Toronto to Chicago for a later third round pick and a fourth round pick.
sleep 5I'll give my take one last time. I don't hate the move. It is not hard to make the case for it. It may work out just fine. That second-rounder from Toronto in 2009 could end up top-40. I just would have preferred the Islanders take the best player on their board at No. 5 and call it a night. Luke Schenn, in that mix, by most accounts is a first-pair defenseman.
Rich, you said it yourself: "I think (Bailey) can be a second-line center." The Islanders had the 5th overall pick. I understand the depth argument, but I would have recommended trying to bring home a first-line player. As for the latest on Nikita Filatov, this is from a scout from the Eastern Conference who focuses on the pro ranks: "Man, I had no idea he was that tiny." Guess we'll see about him.
The Islanders would probably declare that they had Bailey No. 5 on their draft list - and they probably would be telling the truth. Fair enough.
This is the last time I'm writing about the Bailey decision. It's done. I really like the young man. As fans, there is no longer any reason for you to look back. Josh Bailey is yours. He's an Islander. Should this whole rebuild thing work out, you'll be proud he's on your team. And whether you love the move or loath it, know that it was all Garth Snow's.
What's your final opinion on 5-7-9? Comments.