Been a little more then 8 months since I last wrote a blog, and since we are just under 24 hours from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. I have been keeping tabs on many of the mock drafts and many bloggers predictions on what the 1st round will look like. Most especially the top 10. We all know Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin will be the 1st 2 players selected come friday night, but nobody has a strong clue as to what the rest will be. Brett Connolly has been predicted to go as high as 3rd overall and as low as 10th overall. Several mock drafts have him going to either Florida at #3, the Islanders at #5, Tampa at #6, and the Rangers at #10. Some people like myself assume that now with the trade of Nathan Horton to Boston, the panthers will take Connolly at #3 and build around him. Leaving Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson the 2 big prized defensemen in this year's draft available for Columbus at #4 and the Islanders at #5. This doesn't seem to be the case now. There are whispers on the rumor sites that new GM Dave Tallon will be building this team from the blue line out. This makes sense since he is going to try to do the same thing he did during his time with the Blackhawks. The Panthers were going that route with Jay Bouwmeester when they drafted him years ago, and Florida came close to making the playoffs just once a few years ago during Bouwmeester's 6 years with the Panthers before shipping him off to Calgary at last year's draft. There have been a few mock drafts that have Gudbranson going to Florida, but Florida is going to be desperate for offense this year and drafting Connolly would make more sense. So to my main focus, where does this leave the New York Islanders. Most feel that if Gudbranson and Fowler are off the board by the time the Isles turn to pick comes up, they should take what is left and that being Brett Connolly. While others feel that they will take Moncton defensemen Brandon Gormley and make it 3 defensemen taken in the top 5 in a row. My personal favorite has been Gudbranson since it was obvious we were not gonna have a shot at getting into the top 2 let alone the top 3 after the Isles put that little win streak together at the end of the season which cost them positioning in the draft. I like Gudbranson just barely over Fowler cause the guy hits hard, is strong in his own zone, has a powerful shot, very mature for his age and oh yeah he loves to fight. Especially when the opposition takes runs at his teammates. Something that happened to the Islanders more then I can remember while playing philly, pitt, and the rangers. We were out worked physically, and we had nobody that would man up and defend their own teammates. Gilies was the only one to man up when he was in the lineup. Gudbranson is what the Islanders need on that blueline and in that locker room. If snow can move up and get Gudbranson then do it. Yes we do need help at forward in a big way, but size is what we lack. There are not many guys on this team right now that are even over 6'0 or weigh at or over 200 pounds. There are so many holes to fill still, and if the Islanders are serious about making the playoffs then don't go and grab the hand me down free agents like you have the last few years garth. I'm very mixed on Weight being re-signed for another year since he has been hurt and missed significant amount of time during his 2 years on LI, and the guy doesn't seem to have much left in the tank. But the guy is the captain and the mentor for Tavares, but I don't think Weight is sure how much he can contribute on the score sheet since the guy is near 40. So I will have my fingers crossed that Gudbranson does get untouched after 4 picks and falls into our lap at #5. Cause when opponents see Gudbranson on the ice with Tavares and our other young guns, I think they will be wise not to take any runs at them unless they want to answer to that 6'4 monster named Erik Gudbranson.
In closing though I have a scenario that I would like for you guys to give me your thoughts on. We all know that a few teams are shopping players due to salary cap issues and one that comes to mind is the Philadelphia Flyers. They acquired the rights to Hamhuis from Nashville earlier in the week who will command a pretty big price tag. The Flyers have been rumored to be shopping Jeff Carter to unload salary to sign Hamhuis and sign a #1 goaltender. What would you guys think if Garth got a call from Philly and they offered Carter and another player for the 5th overall pick a decent prospect who could be NHL ready and a later pick in either this years draft or next years draft. Now Philly doesn't have a 1st rounder this year due to the Chris Pronger trade last year with Anahiem. So do you guys think Garth would make the trade or keep the pick. I think he would keep the pick. Let me know.