Five players the Islanders may draft
GalleriesHit or miss: Islanders first-round draft picks NHL free agent rankings and signings 10 draft prospects for the Islanders
Five players the Islanders might take with the fifth overall pick:
1 DOUGIE HAMILTON. The 6-4 Hamilton led Niagara defensemen in scoring with 12 goals and 46 assists in 67 games for the IceDogs. He finished fourth in the Central Scouting Bureau's final rankings, making him the highest-rated defenseman in the draft.
2 SEAN COUTURIER. This 6-4 center once was regarded as a potential first overall pick. Although he may not have lived up to such high expectations last season, Couturier still managed to nab the QMJHL's MVP award. The Phoenix native had 36 goals and 60 assists in 58 games with Drummondville.
3 RYAN MURPHY. Another player that one Central Scouting Bureau talent evaluator said "has No. 1 overall skills." Offensive defenseman is strong on the power play. On the smallish side (5-10, 166) but led defensemen in the Ontario Hockey League with 26 goals and 53 assists in 63 games for the Kitchener Rangers.
4 RYAN STROME. His 106 points (33 goals, 73 assists) were third in the OHL. A strong second half with the Niagara IceDogs allowed Strome, a center, to jump from 19th in the Central Scouting Bureau's midseason rankings to eighth in the final rankings. In the OHL's Eastern Conference coaches poll, Strome was voted most improved and best playmaker.
5 JAMIE OLEKSIAK. Call this one a dark horse, but if the Islanders trade down, as they did to draft Josh Bailey in the ninth spot in 2008, the 6-7 Oleksiak is a worthy candidate. The hulking defenseman, who was used in all situations at Northeastern this past season, has drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara and Tyler Myers. According to several scouts, Oleksiak skates very well for his size and has great potential. One scout projected he will go "anywhere from eight to 20."