For the New York Islanders Tonight is the Night

Frank Trovato@@voiceislanderfnCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

OSHAWA, ON - JANUARY 14:  John Tavares #91 of Team Orr skates in the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Cherry on Wednesday January 14, 2009 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 6-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Tonight is the night. The most important night in Islander franchise history in the last 15 to 20 seasons.

No, it's not a playoff series, a game against the Rangers, or a game they need to win to gain entry into the playoffs.

It's the Draft Lottery.

48.2 percent.

That is the chance the Islanders have to win the No.1 overall pick this June, most certainly to be budding superstar John Tavares.

While this is no Sydney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin type, he could be a Vinny Lecavalier or Dany Heatley. He is a game changer. He very well could be the franchise player the Islanders have not had since the ill-fated trade of Zigmund Palffy to the LA Kings.

In short—he is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I just completed reading a disturbing article by Newsday's Greg Logan on this very subject. Garth Snow is not tipping his hand as to who he may be looking at drafting. That there are five or six players that he is considering.

Excuse me?

The top two prospects in this draft are John Tavares and Victor Hedman. After that there is a significant drop off. These two are potential franchise players, a term you will not hear tagged with anyone else in the draft.

Yes, we all know that there are always lower picks that turn out better which is the gamble that Snow and company took last season by passing over Nikita Filatov and clearing out his own draft party in the process.

Could you imagine if the Islanders interpid GM passes over Hedman or Tavares? Imagine what it will be like: 3,000 Islander fans in the Coliseum.

They have the number one pick.

Tavares and Hedman are biting their nails.

Pierre Maguire of TSN is announcing that the Islanders will make their pick.

Gary Bettman is walking to the podium and speaks the words that have become cannon fodder in Islanders lore.

"We have a trade to announce."

Sorry Garth, this time the Coliseum would burn.

The plan should be quite simple. You have the first pick, you draft Tavares. You have the second pick and Tavares is off the board, you draft Hedman.

No trading down.

No hedging the bet.

It is time the Islanders stop trying to re-invent the wheel and do what successful franchises do—draft the best player at your turn in the draft!



The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.