But Islanders general manager Garth Snow was determined to get back into the first round, and was able to do so when he traded defense prospect Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for the 16th and 33rd selections. Snow drafted center Mathew Barzal at No. 16, then traded No. 33 and No. 72 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for another first-round pick, which was used to select forward Anthony Beauvillier at No. 28.
Many of Snow's picks have reached the NHL since he began rebuilding the roster in 2008.
Here is a look at the Islanders' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:
1. Ryan Pulock, D
How acquired: 1st round (No. 15), 2013 NHL Draft
Last season: Bridgeport, AHL: 54 GP, 17-12-29
Pulock (6-foot-2, 214 pounds) practiced with the Islanders during their Eastern Conference First Round series loss against the Washington Capitals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he has not made his NHL debut. His first professional season had a setback when he sustained an upper-body injury, but he did score 17 goals in 54 games for Bridgeport in the American Hockey League. Should the 20-year-old make the Islanders out of training camp, he can provide their power play with a slap shot from the point that has been clocked at more than 100 miles per hour.
"He had a great season last year as a 20-year-old," Snow said. "We were very fortunate in regards to his birth date that he was able to play in the AHL. He had a little bit of a speed bump on the injury front, but he was obviously an elite player at the AHL level and he's a player that can change the dynamic on the power play just with his shot alone. We're interested to see how he performs in September."
Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16
2. Michael Dal Colle, LW
How acquired: 1st round (No. 5), 2014 NHL Draft
Last season: Oshawa, OHL: 56 GP, 42-51-93
Dal Colle (6-foot-3, 194) is coming off a Memorial Cup championship with Oshawa in the Ontario Hockey League, and the 19-year-old is now determined to prove he can play in the League. The Islanders are open to at least giving Dal Colle a nine-game audition at the start of the season, but given their depth, Dal Colle knows he needs to have an outstanding training camp.
"In my mind, I think I have a chance," Dal Colle said. "I'm going to do my best to make that chance a real possibility. That's definitely going to be my goal going into next season."
Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17
3. Mathew Barzal, C
How acquired: 1st round (No. 16), 2015 NHL Draft
Last season: Seattle, WHL: 44 GP, 12-45-57
Many scouts believe Barzal could have been a top-10 selection had he not sustained a broken kneecap last November. Barzal (6-foot, 178) missed 28 games, but his 57 points were second on Seattle despite missing more than a third of its games. The 18-year-old had four goals and eight points in six games during the Western Hockey League playoffs.
"We weren't going to do the [Reinhart] deal unless Barzal was there," head amateur scout Trent Klatt told the Islanders website. "It was only because he was available that we did the deal. I wouldn't have thought he was even an option at 10 o'clock [that] morning."
Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19
4. Joshua Ho-Sang, F
How acquired: 1st round (No. 28), 2014 NHL Draft
Last season: Niagara, OHL: 49 GP, 14-48-62; Windsor, OHL: 11 GP, 3-16-19
Ho-Sang (6-foot, 173) was traded from Windsor to Niagara last November but continued to produce and nearly averaged an assist per game. He dazzled fans at the Islanders' Blue & White scrimmage at Barclays Center last month and gave them an idea of what he's capable of should he continue to develop.
"I feel like I've made a lot of improvements in my game, especially on the defensive side," Ho-Sang, 19, said. "That's definitely what New York told me to focus on, working on a full-ice game, especially coming out of my zone and being more accountable defensively."
Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18
5. Anthony Beauvillier, LW
How acquired: 1st round (No. 28), 2015 NHL Draft
Last season: Shawinigan, QMJHL: 67 GP, 42-52-94
Beauvillier (5-foot-11, 172) is projected to be a solid two-way forward who can play in all situations. The 18-year-old has plenty of offensive upside; he led Shawinigan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring by 30 points.
"He's another kid that has skill and hockey sense. … He's a terrific kid, a terrific character player," Klatt told the Islanders website
Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
Author: Brian Compton | NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor