The Islanders want to perform their due diligence. Garth Snow will over-see meetings next week, next month and into June with Ryan Jankowski and his scouting staff. There will be follow-up interviews with the top prospects. There will be testing. Scouts will be all over the second round series of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs that feature John Tavares and Matt Duchene. Victor Hedman will be monitored closely by the team’s European scouts.
(It’s unfathomable to me that after four years of junior hockey, JT’s stock could fall if he’s less than stellar in this year’s OHL playoffs. In fact, I completely call horsebleep on that. Could Duchene play so well that he locks in at 3, maybe even makes his case for 2? Sure. But c’mon already with needing more information on Tavares).
That aside, the Islanders want to be thorough. Fine. Every time he comes back from Starbucks in the next two months, Garth Snow will have a bunch of phone messages from Joanne Holewa from opposing GMs wanting to know what he’s doing with the first pick.
When Brian Burke doesn’t even come close to proposing an adequate package, the Leafs boss will tell his fawning media corps how he values Luke Schenn and Tomas Kaberle too much. He’ll say Snow can call him back when he wants to be reasonable. Of course, Burke will be making most of it up for dramatic effect.
Now that tonight is over – and the good karma is back in place – the Islanders want to be methodical in their process. High marks to them for sticking to their guns when it would have been oh-so-easy to start hawking season tickets and Tavares jerseys tonight.
When all is said and done, however, I would be surprised if anything but the following happens.
On Friday night, June 26, Snow and Jankowski will take the podium. Because of the significance of the moment, Charles Wang should go up there with them. Snow will say hi to everyone back at the Islanders Draft Party. And then he will use the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft to select John Tavares from the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.