An independent blog on the New York Islanders and the NHL by a guy from New York.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Isles Notes For 4/30


Per Arthur Staple, Islanders forward, Matt Moulson has been nominated for the NHL Foundation Award, given to the player who has enriched the lives of people in his community.  Moulson has already been nominated for the Lady Byng Memorial trophy.


An honor that has eluded Moulson again this season though is being asked to join team Canada in the World Championships. One has to wonder why 3 consecutive 30-goal seasons aren’t enough to make the cut.


John Tavares’ very same Team Canada defeated Mark Streit, Nino Niederreiter and Team Switzerland by the score of 2-1 via shootout in an exhibition game on Sunday.  The teams will meet again tomorrow in Switzerland.  The 2012 IIHF World Championships will get underway on May 4-6 and May 11-13.



More Brooklyn Buzz:


Per Long Island Press and Associated Press, Gary Bettman wants a Franchise with a grand history and the winning tradition of 4 consecutive Stanley Cups to remain where they are, on Long Island.  Bruce Ratner, owner and developer of the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn wants the New York Islanders  to consider his venue as an option.  Ratner will already have the NBA’s Nets as tenants for next season and wants to host an NHL hockey team in need of a home like your New York Islanders.  “(Barclays Center) was made for hockey and basketball,” Ratner told the Associated Press. “It could easily support a hockey team.”

Prospect News:


Per Islanders.nhl.com, “Ryan Strome scored a goal for his team-leading 21st point of the playoffs and the Niagara IceDogs beat the Ottawa 67's 3-2 in game five of the Eastern Conference Final. With the victory, the IceDogs won the series four games to one and locked up the Eastern Conference Championship.

Strome has seven goals and 14 assists in 15 playoff games this season. He's tied for fourth in the OHL in playoff scoring.

The IceDogs will face the London Knights in the OHL Championships. Game 1 is set for Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m."


Prospect Mitchell Theoret is also playing for Niagra with 3 and 3 for 6 pts in 12 playoff games and a +5 rating.



NHL Playoff Notes:


Per the AHL, Did you know? 177 out of the 211 players still in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are AHL graduates, that’s 84%!



Friday, April 27, 2012

KoC Playoff Predictions, Round 2


Results of ...

Eastern Conference Playoffs, Round 1:



NYR in 7 vs. OTT – Rangers got it done behind Lunqvist in a game of missed chances on each side.



WSH in 7 vs. BOS  – Holtby out dueled Thomas and Joel Ward recaptures last year’s playoff magic.



NJD in 7 vs. FLA – Back and forth with a close finish as expected, especially double O.T. in game 7.



PHI in 6 vs. PIT – Cheap shots, dirty plays and thuggery.  And that was the Penguins game!



Western Conference Playoffs, Round 1:



LAK in 5 vs VAN – Vancouver sets the bar in underachievement.



STL in 5 vs. SJS – What idiot said SJS’s experience would overcome STL’s excitement?



PHX in 6 vs. CHI – PHX rode Smith and outworked a crumbling CHI squad.



NSH in 5 vs. DET – Rinne had a measly .944 Sv% vs. DET’s offense.



Thoughts ...


Ok, so I went 4 for 8 on who would win and was 0 for 8 on the length of every series.  I enjoyed watching the first round and it was full of surprises and some of the same. Braden Holtby was huge for Washington.  I really wanted the Caps to crash this season because of what’s his name, their Head Coach, but they rallied. I knew the Los Angeles and St. Louis were good, but they really brought it in just 5 games.

I expected Nashville to take a step this year and the Rangers to ride their goaltender, and they did.  Pittsburgh showed their true colors once again and “gooned” it up when things weren’t going so well as expected.  Ken Hitchcock has really made a difference with a young and talented St. Louis team.  The one constant was that the officiating was as terrible as it has been all season long.

How about Dale Talon and his Florida Panthers and Paul MacLean’s Ottawa squad really made a statement in both their respective rebuild and early season coaching change.  As an Islander fan, its interesting to see what can happen with the right moves in management and philosophy to get the most out of what you have.



What more can happen in round 2?  Heres what I think.



Eastern Conference Playoffs, Round 2:

NYR in 6 vs. WAS  Lunqvist gets better, Holtby comes back to earth.

PHI in 6 vs. NJD  Physicality will make up for shakey goaltending with some close games.



Western Conference Playoffs, Round 2:

LAK in 7 vs STL  A war between two improving teams with the advantage, Quick.

NSH in 5 vs, PHX  Rinne is the difference and again in this series, Smith is solved in net.



Cartoon by Drew Litton



Playoff Notes:



Per NHL, 16 of the 48 opening-round games (33.3%) required overtime, breaking the mark of 15 set in 2001.



The New Jersey Devils have gone 28 consecutive Playoff games without back-to-back wins, the longest active streak in terms of postseason games.


Per Eric Hornick, Road teams now 29-17 in this year's playoffs. Record for one year is 46 in 1987 and road teams won only 22 in 1st round.


Per Greg Brady, Brian “Trottier's Islanders were 60-18 in playoff games from 1980 thru 1984. Just a staggering statistic.”


*** Look for my perspective on the last year of my KoC blog coming May 4th***

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Isles Notes for 4/24





Matt Moulson has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.  The Trophy is awarded to a player who exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly play while being an impact player for his team.



Moulson was 36 (over 30 goals for 3rd consecutive season) and 33 for 69 points in 82 games for the Islanders this season while serving only 6 minutes in penalties.  If he wins the award on June 20th, it will be his third honor awarded this season.



Per Islanders press release, “Moulson has already received a pair of Islanders awards this season. On Thursday, April 5, during the Islanders home season finale, he was honored with both the Islanders Community Service Award and the Islanders Good Guy Award. The Islanders Community Service Award is presented annually to the player who makes the strongest impact on the Long Island community throughout the year. The recipient is selected by the Islanders organization and serves as the team’s nomination for the NHL Foundation Player Award. The Islanders Good Guy Award is presented annually to the player who best displays professionalism, courtesy and cooperation with the media.”





Michael Grabner and Team Austria lost to Slovenia in the Gold Medal Game of the 2012 IIHF Division 1A World Championship Saturday in Slovenia.  Grabner, the only NHL level player able to represent his country in the tournament, finished with four assists in five games. Just making the Gold Medal Game, Austria earned a promotion to the top Division in the 2013 World Championship.





Per the Associated Press, “NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it's hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens.


Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015.

Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.

Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that the league was helping the Islanders explore their options "in the metropolitan area" and that moving the team to outside New York was not currently being considered.

The Islanders will play the New Jersey Devils in an exhibition this fall at the new Barclays Center, the future home of the NBA's NewJersey Nets. January's announcement of that game sparked talk of the club relocating to Brooklyn.”


B.D. Gallof proposed, “I'd expect NHL/Isles to be knocking on Suffolk's door to see if anyone home. Same with Queens, while playing coy with Brooklyn .”



The issue of the Islanders and their new Arena pursuits has been one of paramount importance to Ownership and fans for quite some time.  After the referendum failed in August, the rumors of Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn have been rampant.  The destinations of Kansas City and Quebec have been whispered in the background.

I agree with B.D.  Why not turn up the heat on Brooklyn to improve the incentive for the Islanders to play there?  After the recent “Asbestos” issue, the Isles may need somewhere to play next season, even for the short term.  Why not Brooklyn?  This could escalate both the NHL and Islanders to push for a real offer from all possible suitors of the storied franchise.  If a more in depth lawsuit investigation reveals that the problem is worse than first anticipated and the arena deemed unsafe to inhabit, the team could be free to pursue other options sooner than the expiration of their lease in three years.


At any rate, the Islanders will be staying until 2015 right where they are barring a miracle.  But then again, any leverage or urgency to finish the never-ending Arena search in the New York area, the better.



In other news:



The New York islanders AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers finished the 2011-12 AHL season with a record of 41-26-3-6, earning themselves the number three seed in the Eastern Conference and the Northeast Division title.  It was their first division title since their inaugural 2001-02 season when they went to the Calder Cup Finals and lost to the Chicago Wolves.

Brent Thompson’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers were swept in the first round of this year's Calder Cup Playoffs by the New York Rangers top affiliate and rival, the Connecticut Whale.  The Sound Tigers fell by the score of 3-0 in games 1 and 2 of the series and 4-3 in O.T. of game three.  Sound Tigers Goaltender, Kevin Poulin made 50 saves in the final loss.

FORWARDS

McNeely – Cizikas – Rakhshani
Ullstrom – Mouillierat – Haley
DiBenedetto – Frischmon – Backman
Howes – Romano - Riley

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Donovan – Oleksy
Ness – Landry
de Haan – Wishart

GOALTENDERS


Poulin
Reiter



Monday, April 16, 2012

Isles Notes For 4/16






As previously predicted by Chris Botta, Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders have let go assistant coaches Dean Chynoweth and Scott Allen. Staple adds, expect Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson to get serious consideration for one of the assistant spots.

And look for Doug Weight to remain and take a more active roll.



Also per Arthur Staple, Islanders’ trainer, Garrett Timms was also let go.


Video coach Ryan Ward leaving Islanders, but voluntarily.


Per Dee Karl, Jesse Demers, strength and conditioning coach also leaving Islanders, but voluntarily. Demers is being replaced by Derrek Douglas, and if Google is correct, he was a defenseman in the CHL and has been a sports performance coach since May of 2009.

Although team injuries were down since Demers took over, remember that the Boston Bruins put Brian Rolston on a 2 week conditioning program after arriving in Boston via trade because he arrived "out of shape."



Bridgeport Sound Tigers report, Rookie forward Casey Cizikas led the BST and all AHL rookies with a +26 rating, 4th overall in the league.

After missing the first six weeks due to inj, Rhett Rakhshani finished the 2011-12 season w/ 49 points in 49 games (20-29-49).




Friday, April 13, 2012

New York Islanders 2011-12 Season Wrap Up






The 2011-12 season was another disappointing one for the ownership, management and loyal fan base of the New York Islanders.  After a summer charged with some exciting moves like:




Resigning Michael Granber, Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson and John Tavares long term.


Doug Weight changed his role with the Islanders.


Getting Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey under contract.


Resigning fan favorite Trevor Gillies.


Giving Nino Neiderreiter his shot at a full season on the Island.




Adding veterans, Brain Rolston, Steve Staios and Jay Pandolfo.


Draft, then sign Ryan Strome.


Hiring Brent Thompson as the coach of the minor league affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers.


Hearing that the organization would try again to reach a new arena deal with Nassau County. 



###


Lets start with Marty Reasoner.  Most thought that Reasoner would be a nice upgrade to Zenon Konopka.  Especially since he was coming off the best offensive season of his 12-year NHL career, posting 14 goals and 32 points in 82 games with the Florida Panthers.  In 61 games with New York this season, Reasoner was 1 and 5 for 6 points and a –25 rating.  He never found his game and often was a liability for the Isles in this bloggers’ opinion.


With signing the 2010 Draft pick, Kirill Kabanov, the Isles have a gifted young player who will no doubt compete for a spot next season with the Isles or at least continue his promising progression in Bridgeport.  His development has gone well, but I think he needs to play professional hockey to continue his progress, or he may regress.


Even though Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo struggled early after strong seasons last year, they were able to find some consistency later in the year.  Grabner’s 20 and 12 for 32 pts and –18 rating in 78 games was less than last year’s 34 and 18 for 52 points with a +10 rating for 76 games in 2010-11, but Grabner discovered what he would need to push for if he wanted to remain a top scoring threat in the NHL for seasons to come.  Kyle Okposo’s 24 and 21 for 45 with a –15 rating in 79 games this season was a career high in goals for the forward since his call up in 2007.  He seems to have made a significant stride as an NHL player during this frustrating season.


Matt Moulson and John Tavares continued where they left off last season.  Moulson was rewarded for proving his first two seasons as an Islander were not a fluke, going from 48 to 53 to 69 points (36 and 33) this season in 82 games.  He set a career high in goals, assists and points.  Line mate and emerging super star, John Tavares was the Isles MVP this year with an impressive 31 and 50 for 81 pts.  He has become an impact player and can single handedly make the difference in a game.



Doug Weight is a successful and well-respected player in the NHL.  Having him in your organization brings credibility and shows outsiders that you are serious about winning.  As an Assistant Coach and Special Advisor to the General Manager, Weight was able to contribute to the Islanders organization off the ice.  He was credited for the improvement in the teams PP early on in the season and was acknowledged for his hockey insight.  Some speculate he could eventually be named head coach if the opportunity was available.


Blake Comeau was coming off a steady progression of progress from his first action with the Isles in 2006 up to a career high 24 and 22 for 46 in 77 games in 2010-11.  Comeau waited prior to the 2011-12 season for a big contract offer.  He got a one year deal to prove himself and was waived after only 16 games without a point and a –11 rating.  Part of Bailey’s slow start this season was based on his anxiety for a new contract and having Comeau as a line mate in my opinion, but Bailey came on later in the season after some line juggling.  He finished the season with 13 and 19 for 32 points in 80 games with a positive outlook on next season.  I think he should play on the wing, don’t you?


What can I say about Trevor Gillies that I haven’t already?  Resigning him this summer and seeing the fan reaction at the draft party proved that he is home in the Isles organization.  I think the team missed his heart and grit with no true heavyweight enforcer this season.  I mean no disrespect to Matt Martin or Michael Haley’s contributions to the team in saying this.  While players like Trevor Gillies and Michael Haley are needed on the team, I realize that spots are limited.  I would hope that these guys aren’t allowed to walk away and are resigned in some capacity. Matt Martin has really stepped up and played a solid season for the Islanders.


After Nino’s 9 game visit last season, we all couldn’t wait to see what he would do as an Islander for a full season.  After early injury, several scratches, and a sophomore struggle, Niederreiter had a disappointing season, going 1 and 0 for 1 point in 55 games.  I think that he didn’t get enough playing time on an Islander team that struggled for scoring.  Time in Bridgeport would have been a better launch to his pro career, but he should reach his loft expectations with a little more luck next season.


Adding Casey Cizikas and Anders Nilsson to Bridgeport this season was a great example of what the team has done right with the rebuild.  The fact that both Cizikas and Nilsson were able to contribute when called upon with the Islanders was even better.  While Nilsson will most likely be the fulltime starter next season in the AHL, Cizikas has a shot to make the Islanders next season.




When Trent Hunter was dealt for an overpaid Brian Rolston, Steve Staios signed and aging forward, Jay Pandolfo was invited to camp for his penalty-killing specialty, it was done as a stopgap and to add available veteran experience and cap space salary.  While Rolston was traded, Staios and Pandolfo did contribute this season, but I think the Isles would be have been better off filling those spots with promising prospects that were ready for a shot to compete for a place on the team.


If you attended the Blue and White scrimmage or followed the Niagra Ice Dogs in the OHL, you are aware of what a player like Ryan Strome could be for the Islanders organization.  Despite missing time with injury, Strome went 30 and 38 for 68 pts this season.  Known for his hockey sense and scoring touch, Strome will be watched closely in Isles camp this summer.




The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are 39-25-3 with 87 points in 73 games played so far this season.  With only 3 games remaining, the Sound Tigers have clinched a playoff spot and are in contention for a division title.  Head Coach, Brent Thompson has guided the Islanders primary affiliate to a spectacular regular season with a lot more excitement expected for the playoffs.  All players called up this season played very well and did not look out of place in the NHL.  Credit the coach and his staff for preparing the Islander prospects to compete at a high level and get noticed.

Update:  The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are Northeast Division Champions tonight after a 4-1 win vs. the Providence Bruins.  It is their first division title since their inaugural season 10 years ago.


Where will the Islanders play after the lease expires in 3 years?  Some say Brooklyn, some say in another county, while others speculate the team to be sold to the highest bidder, possibly outside of the New York area.  All these scenarios are possible after the Islanders organization were denied yet again in their quest for a new or renovated building in Nassau County on August 1st, last year.  This uncertainty is a big obstacle for management in trying to sign sought after free agents, long term.




###


Looking back on the 40th anniversary season of the New York Islanders, we all heard the message of “Commitment.”  Although there were no successful bids for top free agents yet again, there was a feeling that the playoffs could possibly be within reach of the team in just the fourth year of Garth Snow’s rebuild.  That didn’t happen.


Although the Isles were within a few games of 8th spot in the conference several times this season, their inconsistency and lack of focus kept them from taking the next step as a young team.  I likened their performance to a “Jekyl and Hyde,” type off identity.  There were several games against quality teams that they dictated play and outplayed their opponents, and others that they just looked lost.  Their success this season wasn’t just an odd game here or there in which they simply caught another team looking past them. They put together some good efforts as a team and showed what they could do as individuals throughout the season.


The first line of Moulson-Tavares and Parenteau were one of the best first lines in the league.  They scored 85 and 132 for 217 points in 2011-12.  P.A. Parenteau is an unrestricted free agent this summer and has not been offered a contract according to agent, Allan Walsh.  "Now that the New York Islander season is over, we are looking forward to start negotiations with the club. P.A. has made it clear he wants to remain with the Islanders. He has assumed a leadership role with the club, he's proven to be a great fit on one of the top scoring lines in the League and has great affinity for the organization that gave him his opportunity to play regularly in the NHL."




Secondary scoring came together a little more in the second half of the season with some line juggling, but needs to improve for the team to take the next step.  As I’ve said al season long, another top forward is necessary to spread out the focus of an opponent for the Islanders.  They need threats beyond the first line.  Michael Grabner and Nino Niederreiter really need to be better.  On the bright side, Frans Nielsen really needs to be recognized as a top two way forward in the league.  A Player like David Ullstrom looked so good with his time in the line up.  He should make the team with Cizikas next year.  Both players should help with offensive talent.


Rhett Rakhshani, Johan Sundstrom, Mitchell Thoret, Justin DiBenedetto, Brock Nelson, and possibly Kirill Kabanov could compete for a spot on the team.  All have shown skill and the ability to score goals.  With Players like Anders Lee, Brenden Kichton and Scott Mayfield in the future plans, the depth continues to improve.  With his hockey career on hold, Isles prospect Corey Trivino's future is an unknown.


Other than the strong play of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald, a glaring negative was the defensive game and I believe trading Mike Mottau was a step forward for the Isles defense.  I am sure you are tired of me saying that a top 4 defensemen should be a priority to sign this summer.  Although newly named Captain, Mark Streit took a while to regain his form from missing all of last season; he did rebound somewhat with better play in the second half of the season.  It is my opinion that Milan Jurcina, Steve Staios and Mark Eaton should be replaced by Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan.  Dylan Reese deserves to be given a serious shot to the team.



Goaltending was scattered throughout the season.  Former holdout, Evgeni Nabokov proved to be a solid, calming force in net for a team that struggled with defense.  He seems to genuinely like playing for the Islanders and recently signed an extension to play for New York next season.  That should mean that Rick DiPietro doesn’t really figure into the Islanders plans for the future.  Despite his heart and competitive nature, he is injured far too often and creates instability in goal for the Islanders.  The constant uncertainty of if and when he will be back has been a huge disruption to the team.  That, and I doubt Nabokov resigned to be a back up. 


Al Montoya was very good to start the season, but inactivity and a concussion, compliments of Evander Kane seemed to change Montoya’s effectiveness in the net.  The Al Montoya I saw before his injury was not the same that I saw finish the season for the Islanders.  I don’t think he will be back.  Isles goal prospect, Kevin Poulin has shown me he is ready to make the team.  Even before this year’s AHL playoffs, I think Poulin has nothing more to prove in the minors.  Backing up Nabokov for a season may get him ready to be the starter for the Islanders beyond next season.



Owner, Charles Wang says his GM and Coach will be back for next season.  Garth Snow has made a few mistakes, but overall, I think he has done a good job with the realistic scenario the Islanders are in.  The Isles have an owner, who is losing millions, but Snow has drafted a deep talent pool and to me, the success in Bridgeport and the prospects ability to play in the NHL proves that.  He has made some bold waiver and free agent signings with Moulson and Grabner.  The team needs to grab a top forward and defensemen this summer.  Many say it cant or wont happen.  They are probably right, which will mean another season of growing pains until the holes are filled in by the maturing prospects mentioned in this article.  Lets not grab more bottom feeder veterans to plug those holes in the line up.  I say the playoffs are a reasonable goal in two years if big free agent signings aren’t made this summer.  I will give my prized possessions to anyone who gives me the phone number of Zach Parise’s agent.  I am kidding here, relax.


In the second half of the season, I feel the coaching was a big part of the Islanders failure to evolve as a team.  While I praised Coach Capuano at times, I felt the Isles lacked consistency and preparedness to play each and every night.  Elements of their game were very good at times (PP and PK) and then awful.  Their psyche seemed fragile and their inability to focus in the third period caused them to lose valuable points.  I would like to see a coaching change.  An established and successful NHL coach would be the best bet.  What about Marc Crawford or Guy Carbonneau?  Even a successful assistant coach that is ready to take the reigns would be a welcome change.  Maybe Mike Haviland of Chicago, Peter Horachek of Nashville or Joe Mullen of Philadlphia.  Watching Peter Laviolette and Dan Bylsma coach for someone else still bothers me.


Looking ahead for the Islanders, you must start with another chance to draft a top prospect and possible impact player, as the Islanders will pick 4th in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft this summer.  I will talk more about this in the weeks to come.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

KoC Playoff Predictions


The 2012 NHL playoffs are finally here, and although your New York Islanders missed the mark again, there are still some great match ups to watch.  I have given a brief overview of my take on the first round and who may emerge victorious.




Eastern Conference Playoffs:

NYR in 5 vs. OTT – Lundqvist too strong, Senators w/most gaa. of teams in playoffs.

BOS in 6 vs. WSH – Bruins too deep, Caps to inconsistent and weak in goal.

NJD in 6 vs. FLA – Very even, Devs w/ good “D”, Florida w/ good “O”, who will show up?

PIT in 6 vs. PHI – Hatred, Pit and Phil have good “O”, but Pit better in net for 7 games.



Western Conference Playoffs:

VAN in 6 vs. LA – Van experience and skill will edge LA’s “D”, it will fall to skilled “O”.

SJS in 7 vs. STL – Experience and scoring will overcome new system and excitement.

PHX in 5 vs. CHI – Phx seems to come of age while Chi seems lucky to even be here.

NSH in 7 vs. DET – Just a feeling Nsh will finally break through vs. legendary franchise.




Monday, April 9, 2012

The Islanders And The 2012 Draft Lottery




Update:


1        Edmonton (Lottery Winner, 1st pick for 3rd consecutive year)

2        Columbus

3        Montreal

4        Islanders

5        Toronto

6        Anaheim

7        Minnesota

8        Carolina

9        Winnipeg

10    Tampa Bay

11    Washington (from Col)

12    Buffalo

13    Dallas

14  Calgary


###

Tomorrow night, the NHL will hold its draft lottery.  This is where the selection order of the first 14 picks of non-playoff teams will be assigned.  Their initial placement is based on a team’s final position in the league standings. Which is, the lowest final point total at the end of the 2011-12 season, but in reverse order.  This gives the weaker teams a better chance to acquire a higher “quality” prospect.

There is a percentage chance, based on how low a team finished the season, that it may move up no more than four places if they are chosen in a random, but weighted lottery.  Per NHL.com, the percentage chance to win the lottery and is weighted like this:

Columbus Blue Jackets - 25.0%
Edmonton Oilers - 18.8%
Montreal Canadiens - 14.2%
New York Islanders - 10.7%

Toronto Maple Leafs - 8.1%
Anaheim Ducks - 6.2%
Minnesota Wild - 4.7%
Carolina Hurricanes - 3.6%
Winnipeg Jets - 2.7%
Tampa Bay Lightning - 2.1%
Washington Capitals (from Colorado) - 1.5%
Buffalo Sabres - 1.1%
Dallas Stars - 0.8%
Calgary Flames - 0.5%

In 2000, the Islanders moved up from 5th to 1st and selected Goaltender, Rick DiPietro.  In 2011, the Isles were bumped from 4th to 5th position when the New Jersey Devils moved to 4th from 8th position.

The Islanders currently sit in the fourth position in the draft and will most likely go for the best player available.  It is possible, though unlikely that they could trade or package the pick once its selected.  What would they do if the won the lottery and moved up to the first position?  What would you do?

Per NHL.com, “The 2012 NHL Draft will take place at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh ‘on Tuesday, April 10th at 8 p.m.’ The first round will take place on Friday, June 22 commencing at 7 p.m. ET and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, June 23.”

Central Scouting released its draft rankings today.


North American skaters:

<><><> 
RANK  
PLAYER
TEAM
LEAGUE
HEIGHT
WEIGHT
 POSITION
1
YAKUPOV, NAIL
SARNIA
OHL
5' 10.5"
189
RW
2
MURRAY, RYAN
EVERETT
WHL
6' 0.5"
195
D
3
GRIGORENKO, MIKHAIL
QUEBEC
QMJHL
6' 3.0"
200
C
4
GALCHENYUK, ALEX
SARNIA
OHL
6' 0.5"
198
C
5
RIELLY, MORGAN
MOOSE JAW
WHL
5' 11.5"
190
D


European skaters:

<><><> 
  RANK
PLAYER
TEAM
LEAGUE
HEIGHT
WEIGHT
 POSITION
1
FORSBERG, FILIP
LEKSAND
SWEDEN-2
6' 2.0"
181
C
2
TERAVAINEN, TEUVO
JOKERIT
FINLAND
5' 11.0"
165
LW
3
COLLBERG, SEBASTIAN
FROLUNDA
SWEDEN
5' 11.0"
176
RW
4
LINDHOLM, HAMPUS
ROGLE JR.
SWE-JR.
6' 2.5"
196
D
5
HERTL, TOMAS
SLAVIA
CZREP
6' 2.0"
198
C






Isles Notes:


Per Arthur Staple, “New York Islanders send Michael Haley and Matt Donovan back to BPT. Casey Cizikas (upper body) still out, Dylan Reese not on clear day roster for BPT.”

Per Arthur Staple, “The Islander players who have accepted World Championships invites: Tavares (CAN), Okposo (US). Hamonic asked by Canada, but declined for personal reasons, (possibly his jaw injury).  Expect Nino Niederreiter and Mark Streit to play for SUI and M. Jurcina for Slovakia. Nielsen (DEN) and Grabner (AUS) still deciding.”

Per @NYIslanders, Matt Moulson was asked what his goal is next year: "Win the Stanley Cup."

Per Chris Botta, “Expect to see changes on Isles coaching staff with one, possibly two assistants not having contracts renewed.”

Per Allan Walsh, agent of P.A. Parenteau, "Now that the New York Islander season is over, we are looking forward to start negotiations with the club.  PA has made it clear he wants to remain with the Islanders. He has assumed a leadership role with the club, he's proven to be a great fit on one of the top scoring lines in the League and has great affinity for the organization that gave him his opportunity to play regularly in the NHL."