While both John Tavres and Victor Hedman appear to be can't miss NHL superstars in the making, I believe that the Islanders made the correct choice. Of course, if Tavares flops while Hedman excels then this could be a disaster but I can't see that happening. The Islanders have been in need of a guy like Tavares for years. Ever since Mike Milbury decided to trade away talented young players by the boatload.
The Islanders and their fans have been starved for a gamechanger. A guy who can transform games with his goal scoring ability. Tavares has the skills to do just that. Sure Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen, and Josh Bailey all look like they can mature into solid offensive contributers and Okposo should score his fair share of goals, but none will fill up the net like Tavares. Think how nice it will be to watch Bailey's slick passes hitting the stick of Tavares for goals. Add that to a defense built around All-Star Mark Streit and first-rounder Calvin de Haan—they must like him to move up twice in order to select him at 12 overall—and a healthy Rick DiPietro and the Islanders have the makings of a solid team to develop.
Sure the Isles will still be lacking pieces from being a true contender but they are building a product. A product that fans will want to pay to watch. A product that will put fans in the seats of Nassau Colisseum, as evidenced by the 10,000+ people that attended the Islanders Draft Party to watch the Islanders make their selection.
These fans will see to it that the Islanders get the new arena that they desperately need in order to attract marquee players to help Tavres and the rest of the players that the team is building around. Then a real winner can be built. A winner that can help restore a proud organization to its great tradition of the 1980's when the Islanders were THE Dynasty.
The seeds have been sown and although they may take a few years to grow, the potential is there. John Tavares will be a star and the Islanders will shed their laughing stock label and once compete again.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!