Here at Point Blank, Alan has been all over the draft for the past few months with profiles, previews and a mock draft. His Official Point Blank Pick™ is defender Ryan Murray, arguably the best defender in the draft. If Murray isn’t available at the fourth slot, which is a serious possibility, both Alex Galchenyuk and Filip Forsberg are excellent options at forward for the Islanders.
Today, we’re going to finish up our draft previews with a look around the NHL neighborhood as to whom other blogs and writers are picking at #4. One of the great things about the internet is the mass of opinions and ideas you can find. I’ve done a bit of searching and solicited opinions from the Islanders blogosphere to give you an idea of where everyone stands.
Probably the best resource for this sort of exercise is the Mock Draft Database over at DC Pro Sports Report. They compile pretty much every mock draft you can find and put them all together in one place. Of the 72 mocks that they’ve compiled, 44% of them have the Islanders selecting Murray at #4. It’s not quite scientific though, as Murray also leads as being the most likely selected player at #2, with 36% of the mocks having him taken by Columbus.
The internet has Murray going to one of two places 80% of the time, but it can’t really make up its mind as to exactly where. This was one of the ideas we highlighted in the podcast this week that if Murray goes prior to the #4 selection, it’s most likely to be to Columbus.
Looking specifically at a few blogs, here’s a look at some other opinions on the Islanders’ pick…
The first three teams blogs selected yesterday, putting us in a dilemma we didn’t expect: Ryan Murray or Alex Galchenyuk? Defense, or offense?
I’d expected one or the other to be left on the table when our turn came up for the Islanders at #4. There has been ample draft discussion among writers and readers here, but I took this assignment solo, making an executive decision. Which means this pick is biased by my reluctance to pick a defenseman so high in the draft unless you’re pretty sure he will be a franchise defenseman.
It’s not that I don’t recognize defense as a weakness on the current Islanders’ roster — it’s that a team really shouldn’t make draft decisions based on the needs of next year’s (or even the following year’s) roster. Defensemen are hard to project, and we’ve seen some really good ones can fall to later in the first or second rounds because of that.
Meanwhile, forward talent is a little easier to identify correctly at age 18, and Alex Galchenyuk possesses it in spades.
Forsberg is who I believe is Garth’s #1 target going into this Friday. The talented Swedish winger seems to be a piece that is missing in the Islanders rebuild. A strong winger with great skating abilities and a quick shot to match would be a great addition to any line centered by either Tavares or Strome. A hardworking young man is exactly what the Islanders are looking to add. If Forsberg is available when Garth walks to the stage Friday evening then I expect Forsberg to join him and try on an Islanders sweater.
Filip Forsberg per what I’m hearing from the scouting community. But my gut feel is Teuvo Tervainen is the guy. Teuvo matches criteria based on upside, skill, hockey sense, age, room for growth. Filip is a 2-way power forward. Both outweigh the rest.
The 6’4″ blueliner can take games over with his size. Has the NHL in his bloodlines with his father Paul and his brother Max.
The Islanders may move this pick with the hope of landing a more NHL-ready defenseman. Otherwise, they’ll need to choose between Reinhart, fellow D-man Matt Dumba or winger Filip Forsberg (if still available).