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With The No. 1 Pick, the Isles Select ...

by Brett Topel / New York Islanders

Islanders GM Garth Snow
With the first pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders select …

Islanders fans know they are going to hear that much on June 26th at about 7:15 pm. It is what follows those words that has been causing a stir since April 14th—when the Isles won the lottery and earned the No. 1 overall pick.

But there is one thing fans should understand— Islanders General Manager Garth Snow is well aware that this is not just another Draft.

“We know it is a huge moment for this organization and we’re looking forward to it to,” Snow said. “We were fortunate enough to win the lottery and I am ecstatic that we are in the driver’s seat.”

One thing the Islanders have maintained is that whoever they select with the top pick, the team is going to get a great player. Snow feels that it would simply be unfair and—in many ways—neglectful not to examine all of the possibilities.

The five players who have been singled out by NHL Central Scouting as the Top 5 in this year’s Draft are Matt Duchene, Victor Hedman, Evander Kane, Brayden Schenn and John Tavares.

“All of these players have been scouted by us not for days, weeks, or months, but for years,” Snow said. “A lot goes into it and I need to be fair to my staff and be fair to the process we established three years ago when I got this position.”

Duchene, a center, has played in 121 career Ontario Hockey League games, compiling 61 goals and 68 assists for 129 points in two seasons with the Brampton Battalion. He has also appeared in 26 playoff games with the Battalion, notching 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points.

Hedman, a defenseman, has skated in 82 career Swedish Elite League games, compiling nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in two seasons with Modo.  He won Rookie of the Year honors in 2008-09 after recording 21 points (7-14-21) in 43 games while patrolling Modo’s blue line.

Kane, a center, has played in 134 career Western Hockey League games, recording 73 goals and 65 assists for 138 points in three seasons with Vancouver. He has also appeared in 32 playoff games with the Giants, scoring eight goals and adding 10 assists for 18 points and 53 penalty minutes.

Schenn, a center, has played in 136 career WHL games, compiling 60 goals and 99 assists for 159 points in two seasons with Brandon. He has also skated in 18 playoff games with the Wheat Kings, recording 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points and 26 penalty minutes.

Tavares, a center, has skated in 247 career OHL games, compiling 215 goals and 218 assists for 433 points in four seasons with Oshawa and London. He has also played in 38 career playoff games, recording 20 goals and 36 assists for 56 points.

"That's the only mandate I have ever gotten from our owner Charles Wang—to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island."
“We do our due diligence and we’re looking for players who are going to help us win the Stanley Cup,” Snow said. “That’s the only mandate I have ever gotten from our owner Charles Wang—to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”

Coming off of a season where the Islanders finished in last place, Snow and the Islanders are confident that the 2009 Draft can be a franchise-changing event.

“We don’t want to be in this situation again,” Snow said. “Obviously we are coming off of a season that was unacceptable and everyone in the organization from the players to front office realizes that we can’t be in this situation again. There were a lot of things that factored into our season and there was some adversity that we faced, but the silver lining in all of that is now we get to draft a great hockey player.”

to watch video profiles of Duchene, Hedman, Kane, Schenn and Tavares.

Order of Islanders picks in 2009 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 - Picks 1 and 26
Round 2 - Picks 31, 37 and 56
Round 3 - Picks 62 and 90 or 91
Round 4 - Pick 92
Round 5 - Pick 122
Round 6 - Pick 152
Round 7 - Pick 182




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