Monday, February 06, 2012

Oh, about that 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Ness debuts Tuesday.

The 2008 Entry Draft was held in Ottawa on June 20-21, 2088, and on the first night of the draft the Islanders made a couple of trades.  With Aaron Ness set to make his NHL debut, it might be a good time to take look at those trades:

The Isles held the 5th pick in the draft and after Stamkos, Doughty, Bogoshian and Pietrangelo were picked, the best player remaining on the Central Scouting Boards was generally considered to be Tyler Myers.  The Isles traded that 5th pick to Toronto in exchange for the 7th overall pick.  The Isles also received their choice of either the 60th-overall pick and a third-round pick in 2009 or the 68th-overall pick and a second-round pick in 2009.

The Leafs passed on Myers, selecting Luke Schenn (who was rated right below him).  After Columbus selected Nikita Flitatov, the Isles then owned the 7th pick, which they wheeled to Nashville along with their choice of either the 60th-overall pick and a third-round pick in 2009 or the 68th-overall pick and a second-round pick in 2009 in exchange for the Predators 9th pick as well as the 40th overall pick.

Colin Wilson was selected by Nashville, and Phoenix selected Michael Boedker.  That left the 9th pick to the Isles,who selected Josh Bailey.  (Buffalo would eventually pick Myers, who win the Calder Trophy in 2009-10 with the 12th pick.)

So how does Aaron Ness fit in this? Four picks after the Isles used the 36th pick on the troubled Corey Trivino, they selected Ness with the 40th overall pick. Ness, who played three seasons for the University of Minnesota before joining the Sound Tigers last March, is now in his first full pro season, and is getting his first shot in the NHL.

He is getting that shot in part, because the third pick the Islanders had in the second round, Travis Hamonic, is out at least two weeks after being injured on Saturday, ending his 113-consecutive game streak.
It will be years before the Islanders know how strong this draft will turn out.  In later rounds, they drafted the 2nd highest-rated European, Kirill Petrov (in a pick obtained in a trade for Marc-Andre Bergeron).  They used one of their own picks (96) to draft Matt Donovan and six picks later drafted David Ullstrom (using a pick they grabbed from Chicago when they swapped places in the third round). In the 5th round, they used one of their own picks to draft Kevin Poulin and then with the 148th pick they capitalized on a draft pick thrown in in the famed "Randy Robitaille for Mike York" deal.  Finally in the 6th round, they used a pick acquired from Minnesota when they dumped Chris Simon at the trade deadline to draft Justin DiBenedetto.

In years to come, the Isles could have as many nine picks from the 2008 draft contributing to the rebuild.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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