This Monday at 8PM we will be able to witness the lottery draft for the first overall pick in what is one of the deepest drafts in years. Right now, although it hasn't been solidified as definite, the Islanders sit in what appears to be the fifth worst spot, prompting the possibility of getting that 1st overall pick.
Sure, many probably figure the odds are not on our side, and you're right. However we can just look to last year's draft when the Chicago Blackhawks were in the same spot as we were and managed to draft Patrick Kane first overall thanks to the lottery.
Let's say our prayers and keep our fingers crossed, because although fifth overall ain't too shabby in this year's draft, having the highest possible pick is obviously even better.
Some youngsters that might make the jump straight to the NHL are the greatly wanted Steve Stamkos and Drew Doughty. With 58 goals and 47 assists for a whopping 105 points in 63 GP for the OHL's Sarnia Sting, Stamkos appears to be the unanimous first overall pick as he looks to be the ultimate Franchise player in this year's draft. Imagine Stamkos lining up next to Okposo to become two of the best young players in the league....oh man I can only dream.
Then there is Drew Doughty, who may go first overall as well if a team is solely looking for an offensive d-man to power the blue-line for years to come. Doughty amassed 74 points last year, with 21 goals and 53 assists in 67 games for the OHL's Guelph Storm. He's on another great pace this year with 13 goals and 37 assists for 50 points in 58 games. Although you don't typically see a young defenseman thrown into the NHL without some minor seasoning, this kid is the total package and may be able to make that jump immediately.
The talent doesn't stop there, as there is Nikita Filitov, a left-wing from Moscow, Russia that at times shows flare of Malkin or Ovechkin. There's Alex Pietrangelo who has 53 points in 60 games and is a +69 the past two seasons for the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs. He's also 6'4 and has vastly improved his physical play which will give Doughty a run for his money. Cody Hodgson is another center out of the OHL who has 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points in 68 games played.
There are several other potential draftees that have loads of explosive talent that can be future all-stars for their respective clubs that draft them. Such names include Luke Schenn, Zach Bogosian, Colin Wilson, Mikkel Boedker, and Kyle Beach.
Michael Del Zotto is another defenseman in which some have ranked him in and out of the top ten. This year he's slugged home 78 points in 64 games for the OHL's Oshawa Generals. His slow start is why many have doubted his ability to be ranked higher than after the top ten, but many have seen improvement and expect that to continue, so don't be surprised if he's as high as the top five as well.
As you can see I have only listed a handful of the young talent that is going to be drafted this year. The Islanders will have a better idea of who they will draft come this Monday as Versus will be airing a half-hour special of the draft lottery at 8 PM.
I will definitely be tuning in, because besides the playoffs and the draft day itself, this is going to be the most exciting day for Isles fans once the season is over.
Fingers crossed for that #1 pick!
Another Stamkos vid for your delight: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LLouRFD0XJw