An In-Depth Look at the Isles 2011 Draft

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is over and the Islanders have made eight picks through the seven round process. Although it will be several years before we know how strong this draft class actually was, here is a look at the Isles’ picks GM Garth Snow made in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and some of their strengths and weaknesses according to hockey scouts:

Round 1, 5th overall selection:

Ryan Strome, C  6’0” 175  Last Team: Niagara (OHL)  GP 65  G 33  A 73  Pts 106  PM 82

Strome is a slick playmaking center who specializes in finding and creating space…His playmaking ability intrigued the Isles who need some set up men to feed players like Tavares, Moulson, Grabner and Okposo…Strome also has good hands and can score… Was third in the OHL in scoring and had a breakout season in 2010-11…Also saw some time on the penalty kill with Niagara and even scored some SH goals….Is at least a season away from reaching the NHL level and needs to increase his size and strength…Has a good work ethic which bodes well for his long term improvement…Confident player who also played lacrosse growing up…Skated with Isles center John Tavares during the past few summers as both are from Mississauga, Ontario…

Round 2, 34th overall selection:

Scott Mayfield, D 6’4”, 197  Last Team: Youngstown (USHL)  GP 52 G 7 A 9 PTS 16  PM 159

Mayfield is a big defenseman and that’s something the Isles certainly need to develop in their system…For a big man, he skates very well and plays the body well…passing also considered a strong point…slated to attend the University of Denver this fall although Kitchener of the OHL has his junior rights and may try to get him to join them in the fall…some scouts question his hockey sense…has a strong shot but has not put up great offensive numbers thus far…possesses a very long reach which he can use to his advantage…moves well laterally, especially for a big man…his offensive production dropped a bit this past season but his defense and all-around game picked up…childhood idols were Al MacInnis and Bobby Orr…

Round 2, 50th overall selection:

Johan Sundstrom, C 6’2”, 196  Last Team: Frolunda (Sweden) GP 41 G 1 A 0 PTS 1 PM 10

Sundstrom is a big center with soft hands and a lot of raw ability…He is expected to stay in Sweden this season where he should see more playing time and have increased offensive opportunities…Played for the Swedish national under 20 team at the 2011 World Championships…Projected as a third or fourth line player and a checking specialist if he reaches the NHL…

Round 3, 63rd overall selection:

Andrei Pedan, D 6’4”, 201  Last Team: Guelph (OHL)  GP 51  G 2 A 10 PTS 12  PM 89

Pedan is a big Lithuanian defenseman who came to play in junior hockey in Canada…Most scouts project him as a shutdown defenseman…Is a solid bodychecker and is not afraid to use his size to his advantage…Did not put up good offensive numbers during the regular season but had eight assists in six playoff games…Improved as the season progressed, most likely due to adjusting to the North American game…Struggled when he tried to do too much with the puck…

Round 4, 95th overall selection:

Robbie Russo, D  6’0”, 189  Last Team: US Nat’l (USHL)  GP 24  G 0 A 6 PTS  6  PM 11

Russo was part of the U.S. National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last season…Helped lead the U.S. Team to a gold medal at the 2010 World Under-17 Challenge…Will attend Notre Dame University this fall…Westmont, Illinois, native was ranked 55th overall among North Americans by Central Scouting…grew up a Blackhawks fan…Strong puck possession skills…Biggest strength is his anticipation…has a great sense of where the puck will go and takes advantage of it…has shown the potential to be a leader and is well respected in the locker room…biggest concern most scouts have about his ability to play in the NHL is his lack of size…also needs to improve his skating a bit…

Round 5, 125th overall selection:

John Persson, LW  6’2” 199  Last Team: Red Deer (WHL)  GP 66 G 33 A 28  PTS 61 PM 34

Swede led Red Deer with 33 goals and was fourth on the team with 61 points…Has spent the last two seasons in the WHL after coming over from Sweden…Added five points in nine playoff games…A plus-37 in 66 games last year with Red Deer…Was eligible for the draft last season but was not selected…has good size and produced offensively last year…

Round 5, 127th overall selection:

Brenden Kichton, D  5’10” 175  Last Team: Spokane (WHL)  GP 64  G 23 A 58 PTS 81 PM 31

The Spruce Grove, Alberta, native was third on Spokane with 81 points…Does not have as much size as the other defensemen selected by the Isles in this year’s draft but has more puck handling and offensive ability…He is also a strong skater with very good hockey sense who makes a strong first pass to start the transition from offense to defense…Has seen time on the power play with Spokane…Was a plus-55 in 64 games last season…Has shown ability to quarterback the power play…Lack of size is a concern at the next level…

Round 7 185th overall selection:

Mitchell Theoret, C  6’1” 210   Last Team: Niagara (OHL)  GP 66  G 9  A 11 PTS 20  PM 52

Montreal native has decent size…Not known for his offensive game with Niagara, scoring nine goals and 20 points in 66 games before adding two goals and three points in 14 playoff contests…Was a teammate of Isles first round pick Ryan Strome at Niagara….a two-way player with good vision and strong on his skates…Projects as a checker as a professional…

 

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