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Experts Take: NYI '08 Draft

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Despite a curious initial reaction, the hockey media has applauded the Islanders for taking the correct steps in acquiring the player they targeted in first round (Josh Bailey) while also rebuilding the farm system to set the team up for years to come.

But, if you don't believe us, take it from the experts.

National hockey beat writer Kevin Allan of the USA Today  ranked the Islanders' draft as the third best this year and wrote: "Joshua Bailey will be a frontline offensive scorer, and Corey Trivino has high yield potential. And I like all of their rolls of the dice. Sure Aaron Ness is a small, but maybe he will be another Phil Housley. David Toews has the right bloodlines of scoring success and Kirill Petrov is 6-3 with overflowing talent, even though he hasn't lived up to expectations this past two years.

"Basically, I think Garth Snow's had some courage to take some chances on a smaller player like Ness, and particularly Petrov. If he comes over here and if he finally starts to explore his considerable talent, Petrov could be one of the best players in this draft. And Toews may not be as skilled as his brother, but he's a smart player"

MSG's Stan Fischler also gave Islanders GM Garth Snow high marks for the draft by saying: "The Islanders G.M. traded down on Friday night to obtain more picks for Saturday and made good on a pair who give the Nassaumen long-term roster depth and, perhaps, two diamonds-in-the-rough.

"Snow's priority was to replenish a depleted roster. With the additional picks garnered by trading down, he went a long way toward reaching that target."

EJ Hradek of ESPN liked that the Islanders had a plan going into the draft and said: ""Well what was interesting to me is the fact that they traded down twice, from 5-7 and then 7-9. It told me that they really had a strategy. They had someone in mind that they liked, that person was Joshua Bailey, and they knew they could get him a little bit later. So they went out and got some other draft picks in the second and third rounds in the moves and that's a strategy that teams are going to, if they find a guy like that who they like. This was a draft that was a pretty deep in talent."

We already told you about XM Radio's analysis, but if you missed it, they called the Islanders as one of the big winners of draft. Click here to listen to their report .

NYI Blog Boxer BD Gallof  spoke to Matt Ebbs, the General Manager of the International Scouting Service, who said: "The New York Islanders added tremendous depth to the organization through shrewd trades on Friday. First, Garth Snow traded down and picked up Toronto's 3rd round pick in 2008 as well as their second round pick in 2009. He followed this move by trading down again and getting Nashville's 2nd round pick. In short, Garth took his 5th pick that would have resulted in Luke Schenn (great player) for Josh Bailey, Aaron Ness and David Toews…

"Garth has added some depth, mobility and skill to the back end as well as solid, character players up front. Our scouts ranked Bailey #10, Ness #29 and Toews #27. They also picked up Corey Trivino with their 2nd round pick who ISS ranked at #26."

After the draft, Shane Malloy, host and producer of the Hockey Prospects Show on XM Radio, was quoted saying: "Now assessing a NHL draft a few days after is never fair and actually quite silly since hockey is similar to baseball in that it is a slow developmental process for its players. However the Islanders were savvy on draft day this year trading down for extra picks in the second and third rounds. The management realized after assessing the lack of talent and depth on the farm they needed a balance of quality and quantity.

"They traded down from 5th to 9th and picked arguably the smartest player in the draft Josh Bailey who plays a strong defensive along with his superior offensive skills. The second and third rounds are the bread and butter of your future and adding the likes of forwards Corey Trivino, Kirill Petrov and David Toews and defenseman Aaron Ness, Travis Harmonic and Jyri Niemi is like have two drafts in one. In five seasons the Islander faithful could look back at the 2008 draft and see where the foundation was laid for a contender."

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