As we already know, the Islanders selected Nino Niederreiter with their fifth overall selection in the first round, and would go on to trade both of their second round selections (35th and 58th) to Chicago for the 30th overall (Brock Nelson)—giving them plenty of time to ponder their selection during round three.
While trading away their second round picks—essentially a late first rounder and a great second round pick—may take points away from general manager Garth Snow and assistant Ryan Jankowski, what they did in the third round really makes up for it. The Islanders quickly found themselves one of the most talked about teams in the draft for picking their third player, Kirll Kabanov—the 65th player selected during the draft.
Kabanov could very well turn out to be the steal of the 2010 Entry Draft, and up until the midway point of the year, many scouts and analysts had him in the top ten, in some cases even the top five, of this draft class. Problem was, Kabanov was perceived as a bad apple; countless rumors of drug and alcohol abuse, being blackballed by his Russian team, leaving his team in Moncton midseason, and being dropped by his well-respected agent all but forced the teams to pass Kabanov by until the Islanders took the chance in the third round.
Kirill Kabanov no doubt has the skill, so now he needs to prove to the New York Islanders that he means business and can focus on the game of hockey. As Garth Snow has said in post draft interviews—he can start with a clean slate.
Later in the third round, the Islanders would select Shattuck-St Mary's High School winger Jason Clark at 82nd overall, a 6'2" monster with the potential to grow into his frame and round out his skill set with more seasoning in the US Collegiate program—a project as many players in the draft tend to be.
The Islanders would once again find a trading partner in the fourth round, sending their 95th overall selection in the fourth round to Colorado, for a 2011 third round selection—a something for nothing move that Garth Snow seems to pull out of his trading hat every year at the draft.
Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski would eventually find their elusive defenseman of the draft—something many (including myself) figured they would have found in the first or second round—when they picked Tony DeHart in the fifth round at 125th overall. DeHart lead all defensemen on the Oshawa Generals last season (10 goals, 40 assists, 50 points in 68 games) and was often paired with Islanders defensive prospect Calvin de Haan—perhaps a key reason as to why the Islanders were familiar with his play.
During the sixth round, Garth Snow would find himself wheeling and dealing once again—this time with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Islanders GM would move both of their sixth round selections (155th and 160th) for the Thrashers 2011 fifth round pick.
For the Islanders' final selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, they would select goaltender Cody Rosen 185th overall in the seventh round. With the organization already chock full of up and coming goaltenders, once can only imagine that one of the previous years' selection has been deemed ready to serve as backup to Dwayne Roloson and this pick will in essence, "replenish stock."
All in all, the Islanders performed extremely well in rounds two through seven.
The Islanders picked up what can be argued as a first round talent type player with a third round pick and would pick up a work in progress player with their second of the third round. They traded a fourth round pick this year, for a third rounder next year—always dangerous in Snow's hands (see Petrov in 2009 and now Kabanov in 2010). They nabbed a defensive prospect who at 20 years old, may just replace someone in Bridgeport, exchanged two sixth rounders for a 2011 fifth rounder, and picked up a wait and see type netminder for a grand total of six players and two picks.
I gave the Islanders an A- for their work in round one, I give them an A for their work in round two.
Final Grade: A
We may not know what some of these players will add to the organization for 3-5 years, however one or two of them may have an immediate impact. There is one thing that is for certain, the New York Islanders continue the steady rise back to being a contender with Garth Snow at the helm.
That is definitely not a bad thing, at all.