Islanders failure at draft haunts franchise

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2008 06:59:00 AM | |
No folks, I'm not talking about Mike Milbury's trades.

Just raw materials you have to get from your drafts where a select number of players turn into difference-makers in your NHL lineup regardless of where they are selected. Players like Colorado's Marek Svatos for example.

Some late round Islander picks turned into respectable NHL defenders and even a good one in Radek Martinek with the potential obviously there for Campoli and Gervais but here we are in almost a full decade later with Bergenehim & Comeau
the only forwards to break into the lineup as regulars. Neither at this time can be called gamebreakers with Kyle Okposo the only player close to that level.

Nothing close to a gamebreaker in so many drafts, not one Palffy-like talent or even close among the fowards.

So many clubs find a few players like that sooner or later.

So many outright failures which you expect with late round picks but still hope you find one or two surprises. How did so many fail out of Lowell, Springfield and Bridgeport. All the time invested in players like Mattias Weinhandl who leads the SEL in scoring during the lockout in a league packed with NHL veterans but when he returns here cannot break into a spot and is now back in Europe doing well at the WC.

Kolnik was traded to Florida by Mike Milbury for a defender in Sven Butenschon who was unrestricted only a few months earlier who had a short breakout period in Florida but spent 07-08 in the Swiss league. Weinhandl went from Minnesota back to Europe. Mapletoft made it back to the AHL but that's about it after he did not sign with the Isles after so much promise in Red Deer under Brent Sutter.

So much damage but a promising class in 2006. My first impression reading the 2007 Islanders draft was too few picks and reminded me of some of Mike Milbury's draft in 2001 where no one made ever played for the club.

That cannot happen with Garth Snow's 2007 draft class.

NHL Draft - 1999
1 5 Tim Connolly
1 8 Taylor Pyatt-Not as good as Nelson Pyatt so far, disappointing year in VCR.
1 10 Branislav Mezei-Oft injured disappointment for a tenth overall pick.
1 28 Kristian Kudroc-Major bust for a first round selection.
3 78 Mattias Weinhandl-For time/investment bust for Isles and Wild.
3 87 Brian Collins-Never signed.
4 101 Juraj Kolnik-see above.
4 102 Johan Halvardsson-eight games w/Bridgeport in 06-07.
5 130 Justin Mapletoft-AHL player with Binghampton Senators after going to Europe.
5 140 Adam Johnson-never signed.
6 163 Bjorn Melin-Three games w/Ahaheim in 06-07 back in Europe.
8 228 Radek Martinek
9 255 Brett Henning-Never signed out of Notre Dame.
9 268 Tyler Scott-Played in France in 07-08 after years in ECHL.

NHL Draft - 2000
1 1 Rick Dipietro
1 5 Raffi Torres
4 101 Arto Tukio-Never signed.
4 105 Vladimir Gorbunov-Never signed.
5 136 Dimitri Upper-Still playing in Russia.
5 148 Kristofer Ottosson-Career Djurgardens product will meet Robin Figren.
7 202 Ryan Caldwell-two games w/Coyotes last season for former NCAA Champion.
9 264 Dimitri Altarev-Never left Russia.
9 267 Tomi Pettinen-We all remember his Islander stint in 05-06.

NHL Draft - 2001
4 101 Cory Stillman-Isles drafted the one who never made it.
5 132 Dusan Salficky-We all recall his bolting from Bridgeport in season?
6 166 Andy Chiodo-Isles did not sign him, went from Pitt to Europe.
7 197 Jan Holub-Never signed.
8 228 Mike Bray-Played on club with former Islander Claude Lapointe in LNAH.
9 260 Bryan Perez-Never signed with Isles.
9 280 Roman Kuhtinov-Never signed with Isles.
9 287 Juha-Pekka Ketola-Never signed with Isles.

NHL Draft - 2002
1 22 Sean Bergenheim-Finally completed first full season in NHL.
3 87 Frans Nielsen-Still on the outside needing a first full season RFA.
5 149 Marcus Paulsson-Never signed playing in swe-1 league.
6 189 Alexei Stonkus-Recovered from very serious neck injury, still Isles prospect.
7 220 Brad Topping-Never signed.
8 252 Martin Chabada-Bolted Bridgeport for Europe, playing in SEL.
9 283 Per Braxenholm-Transfering in European leagues.

NHL Draft - 2003
1 15 Robert Nilsson
2 48 Dimitri Chernykh-Never signed but still prospect on website.
2 53 Evgeny Tunik-Sixty one games in Bridgeport, still technically a prospect.
2 58 Jeremy Colliton-Here we are still waiting with no spot seemingly in sight.
4 120 Stefan Blaho-Never signed out of juniors.
6 182 Bruno Gervais-Entering fourth season with Isles.
7 212 Denis Rehak-Never signed out of WHL.
8 238 Cody Blanshan-Never signed, went from ECHL to CHL last season.
8 246 Igor Volkov-The impressive forward Isles list but cannot bring over.

NHL Draft - 2004
1 16 Petteri Nokelainen-I'm not liking this deal considering Walter not in NHL.
2 47 Blake Comeau-Best of the bunch with Bergenheim/Okposo gamebreaker? Not yet.
3 82 Sergei Ogordonikov-Could have been bought out by Bridgeport.
4 115 Wes O'Neill-So much for that fourth round steal on draftday.
5 148 Steve Regier-Isles have invested a lot, still seems no spot with Isles.
6 179 Jaroslav Mrazek-Never signed, currently in Czech league.
7 210 Emil Axelsson-Mystery man still listed on Isles prospect page.
7 227 Chris Campoli-About to enter his third full season.
8 244 Jason Pitton-Signed prospect.
9 276 Sylvain Michaud-never signed.

NHL Draft - 2005
1 15 Ryan O'Marra
2 46 Dustin Kohn-About to enter second season with Bridgeport.
3 76 Shea Guthrie-College prospect.
5 144 Masi Marjamaki-Signed by Isles, one game in NHL, back in Europe.
6 180 Tyrell Mason-College prospect.
7 196 Nicholas Tuzzolino-Never signed, in IHL today.
7 210 Luciano Aquino-Signed but RFA demoted to Fort Wayne from Bridgeport.

Seems like different culture in terms of signings and college prospects.

NHL Draft- 2006
1 7 Kyle Okposo-Signed.
2 60 Jesse Joensuu-Signed.
3 70 Robin Figren-Signed.
4 100 Rhett Rakhshani-College
4 108 Jase Weslosky-College
4 115 Tomas Marcinko-Signed.
4 119 Doug Rogers-College
5 126 Shane Sims-College
5 141 Kim Johansson-Must be signed by 6/1.
6 160 Andrew MacDonald-Signed
6 171 Brian Day-College
6 173 Stefan Ridderwall-Must be signed by 6/1.
7 190 Troy Mattila-College

Too early to review the 2007 draft class but only two forwards, and a few picks.