The last time the Islanders traded a lottery pick, they moved down twice from fifth overall to ninth in order to select Josh Bailey. The move was highly questionable at the time as Bailey was considered a reach at ninth overall.
Josh Bailey is perhaps the most frustrating player currently on the Islanders roster. He shows flashes of brilliance, such as what was seen over the last month of this past season, but also goes through brutal stretches of offensive ineptitude.
While the jury is still out on Bailey, Snow's decision to trade down was smart. It netted them the pick that became Travis Hamonic, while if they had stood pat at number five they probably would have selected Nikita Filatov, who is already back in the KHL as a draft bust.
This draft presents the Islanders the perfect chance to trade the fourth pick for the Tampa Bay's 10th and 19th, or Buffalo's 12th and 21st. The 2012 draft has a top flight crop of defensemen, and the 10th/12th picks would allow the Islanders to pick up a big, physical blue-liner such as Griffin Reinhart (6'3, 200), Jacob Trouba (6'1, 195), or Cody Ceci (6'2, 200). There is even a chance Matthew Dumba's smaller stature could enable him to fall to the Islanders. Along with picking up a blue-chip defensemen, the Islanders would have a chance to select a more ready made NHL talent with the 19th/21st pick. In recent years, some big time NHL players have been drafted around 20th overall: Max Pacioretty (2007), Michael Del Zotto, Jordan Eberle (2008), as well as a couple members of the class of 09' in Chris Kreider and Jacob Josefson who are both currently breaking through for the Rangers and Devils receptively.
This second pick could also be used as a trade chip for Snow to acquire a solid NHL veteran without the pressure of trading away a top five pick.
With some savvy moves by GM Garth Snow, trading with the Lightning or Sabres could allow the Islanders to address their needs at defense and also continue to stock their already promising prospect pool.