It’s amazing to think that two years removed from their first playoff series win since 1993, the Islanders are back in the discussion for a lottery pick. But here we are.
The Islanders and their fans will get some idea of where the team will pick on Saturday in this year’s draft by 7:30 p.m. and if things go New York’s way they could be hoping for a top-three pick by 9:30 p.m. The new draft lottery format this year sets the stage for picks 15 through 4 to be revealed first before the final three are unveiled later in the evening.
The Islanders hold a 3.5 percent chance of grabbing the first overall pick in the draft and another 2.5 percent chance thanks to their acquisition of Calgary’s first-round pick in a trade at last year’s draft.
A moving up in the draft with either one of those picks — or somehow winning the lottery — would be a big break for a team that has plenty of questions still lingering. Cheif among those is the status of general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight, as well as whether or not John Tavares will return next season.
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky gave a vague statement during the final day of the team’s locker clean out day indicating all aspects of the hockey operations department would be evaluated. Since then, Islanders ownership has been silent as rumors swirl about changes or replacements for the current front office.
And no news has emerged regarding Tavares’ thinking towards a new contract with the Islanders.
The draft is the likely setting for any sort of big moves Snow — or whoever is running the show at that point — could make. And one or both of those first round picks could be highly sought after currency in any type of deal.
NHL Draft Lottery
When: Saturday, April 28 at the CBC in Toronto
How to Watch: 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN; 8 p.m. on NBC
Breakdown: Picks 15 through 4 will be announced during “Hockey Central Saturday” on NBCSN. The top three picks will then be revealed during the second intermission of Game 2 between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights.