THE NEXT GENERATION
Islanders re-tool their system with 13 strong picks from a deep 2008 NHL Entry Draft
Saturday, 06.21.2008 / 4:35 PM ET / News
New York Islanders
Just one year ago, GM Garth Snow and his scouts needed to wait 61 positions before picking Sarnia Sting defenseman Mark Katic in the third round. What a difference a year makes. By the time 62 rolled around at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Islanders had already drafted four players, including Josh Bailey, ninth overall, and three players in the second round.
The Islanders made three picks in the third round and two in rounds four to six to close out a busy weekend in Ottawa. At the end, the Islanders added 13 new prospects to their system thanks to some late trading at the draft.
"You always leave a draft excited about the players you pick," said Assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski. "This draft was much more exciting than last year. We were able to capitalize on the picks we obtained throughout the season and draft a lot of players who bring skill and upside to our system. We picked a nice group of high-skill and high-character forwards and a good mix of physical and small defenseman, who all have potential to take their skills to the NHL some day. It's a tremendous feeling adding so many players to the organization. Now the next step is to develop them into NHL-caliber players."
For those keeping score at home, four centers (Bailey, Corey Trivino at 36th overall, David Toews at 66th and Justin DiBenedetto at 175th), five defensemen (Aaron Ness at 40th, Travis Hamonic at 53rd, Jyri Niemi at 72nd, Matt Donovan at 96th and Jared tSpurgeon at 156th), three wings (Kirill Petrov at 73rd, David Ullstrom and 102nd and Matthew Martin at 148th) and one goaltender (Kevin Poulin at 126th) were selected by the Islanders at this draft.
Eight players chosen were Canadian, two were American and one each came from Russian, Sweden and Finland. Last year, the Islanders drafted no players from outside of North America.
Islanders scouts indicated that the Canadian Junior Leagues were strong this year, particularly the OHL, which the Islanders selected three players from, with two playing on the same line in Sarnia. The WHL had two representatives join the Islanders' ranks, while one came from the QMJHL. Two Minnesota prep school kids were added and one hailed from the USHL. Three played over in Europe and one played tier-2 Canadian junior hockey so he would be eligible to play US college hockey next season.
GET TO KNOW YOUR NEWEST ISLANDERS
From The Hockey News
"Here's a breakdown of the best tools available in this year's draft..."
Corey Trivino, C, Stouffville Spirit (OPJHL) >>> Consider this: when Adam Oates was 17, he had 36 assists in the Ontario Junior A league. A year later, he had 53. Well, Trivino had 34 and 50 at 17 and 18, respectively. The unheralded forward is a dominant force on the power play, moving the puck east-to-west with ease.
David Toews, C/LW, Shattuck-St. Mary's (USHS) Like his brother, David can be counted on to do special things when the game is on the line. Case in point: At the 2007 Canada Winter Games, Toews dragged the underdog Team Manitoba into the Gold Medal game.
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CLICK HERE FOR THE ISLANDERS DRAFT CENTRAL 2008