There is no doubt that John Tavares is offensively gifted and has the hands of a magician. But for a team that is in serious rebuild mode, is Tavares the wisest selection for the Islanders to make? As time goes on I'm becoming less sure.
I've always believed the standard for a winner is building from the net out. And with DiPietro lock up for the next 30+ years, it only makes sense to me they move onto building their defense. But who wants to be know as the team that passed on Tavares to select someone else and he turns out to be an absolute stud? No-one! But that aside is New York thinking about selecting Tavares for the right reasons? Do their scouts think he is going to be the player is has been that hyped up to be or is it more of a business decision?
We all know that the Islanders are in need of a new arena and aren't drawing fans and might be in some financial trouble etc.. and selecting a player like Tavares sure would put butts and attract more sponsors. But is it wise to select a player for more of a business decision? Hmm, I guess all they would have to do is ask any Senators' fan who was alive for the 1993 draft.
To me this situation sounds all too familiar. Back in 1993 Ottawa has this brand new arena and needs a star to fill the seats and make money... and wouldn't you know it they just happen to have the 1st overall pick in that years draft. Enter Alexandre Daigle.
Daigle was a huge junior sensation scoring 137pts in 53 games played his draft year. He was hyped and labeled as a can't miss prospect who would become and NHL superstar. Ottawa owners loved him, a kid from Laval who would draw fans from all around Ottawa and across the river from Quebec. But Ottawa scouts weren't so sold on him and were pushing hard for the Sens to draft either Chris Pronger or Paul Kariya who they thought were much better selections. Ottawa ultimately drafted Daigle for mainly business reasons and it came back to bite them in the butt.
Now we are in a somewhat similar situation with New York... all business signs point to Tavares, he can be the face of a franchise and sells tickets. But now scouts aren't so sure. His playoffs were average and uninspired and outside of offense, his game needs much work. Now we have Victor Hedman (Pronger) who has size, mobility and scoring touch who scouts love and Matt Duchene (Kariya) who has a very complete game and will be a perennial 40+ scorer... scouts want to make clones of this guy.
If I'm New York, I don't make the Daigle mistake and choose either Duchene or Hedman. It's just my two cents and Tavares will likely be taken first overall because like I said above... who wants to be the answer to the Trivia Question "Which team passed on John Tavares to select someone else?"