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Isles ‘absolutely’ willing to deal No. 5 pick, says Snow

May 23, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

garthsnowgetty Getty Images

Shortly after announcing he was keeping the fifth overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Isles GM Garth Snow said he’d be willing to part with it.

From the New York Post:

When asked if he is willing to deal the pick, Snow hardly let his questioner finish before saying, “Absolutely. We’re open to any deal that might make the team better.

“If that’s trading the pick for a player, standing pat and picking a quality player at No. 5, or trading it to move up or down, we’re open.”

The Islanders had the option to send this year’s first-rounder to Buffalo (from the Thomas Vanek trade), or defer to next year’s draft instead. On Thursday, Snow made his decision to keep the No. 5 and give the Sabres his ’15 first-rounder, which comes with a risk as it could be a lottery ticket to the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes.

In explaining the move, Snow told Newsday the Isles “don’t see ourselves being in this position again next year,” saying he expects a return to the form 2011-12, when the team made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

As such, it’s not surprising Snow trotted out the “open for business” line regarding the fifth overall selection. There are questions about the depth and high-end talent available at this year’s draft, with some pundits suggesting there’s a dropoff after trio of players vying for the first overall spot: OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, WHL Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart and OHL Kingston forward Sam Bennett, who finished atop the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the ’14 draft.

Snow could move the No. 5 pick for a player that would help the Isles immediately, though he wouldn’t be the only GM going that route. Florida’s Dale Tallon, who holds the first overall selection, has said he will “definitely” be shopping the pick; Tallon also stated on various occasions he’d like to obtain some veteran players to compliment the Panthers’ young core.

Related: Stars GM feels ‘there could be a lot of moves’ at draft

  1. elvispocomo - May 23, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Obviously he thinks that by keeping the pick there’s more opportunity to get better value back from it (either by picking a player or by trading it away) than he’d be able to get from the 2015 pick. That’s debatable at this point, and if he ends up being wrong – either by busting or getting too little value back for the 2014 pick, or being similarly bad next year – it would be a major mistake.

    • bullwinkle88 - May 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Snow, making a poor decision? When did that ever happen?

    • jl9830 - May 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Islanders were 19th in Fenwick close this season, with injuries. With even average goaltending, they’re a playoff contender. With Halak, they won’t be in the top 10 in next year’s draft. So it’s much better for them to give up a 12-20th pick next year than a 5th overall this season.

  2. elwaysagenius - May 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    And it’ll only cost a 2nd rounder!

  3. stcrowe - May 23, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Considering it is Garth Snow we are talking about, it is unlikely that a trade would make the team better. Based on his track record, it will make some other team better.

  4. sjsharksfan11 - May 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Doug Wilson should make the move now and unload Thornton or Marleau for that pick.

    • jl9830 - May 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      As an Islanders fan, I’d consider trading that pick for Marleau. Marleau-Tavares-Okposo would be the best line in hockey.

  5. tjvalley - May 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Who wants those losers. They can’t lead a team past the first round.

  6. rabidbillsfan - May 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Report: The Buffalo Sabres have traded Ryan Miller to the New York Islanders in exchange for the #5 overall pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft.

  7. billsin20xx - May 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I heard the Isle’s are going to trade with the Sabre’s. They are giving up the number 5 pick plus a 2nd rounder, getting back their 1st rounder next year so they are in on the McDavid sweepstakes!

  8. bullwinkle88 - May 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I believe this decision leaves the Sabres quite happy.

  9. 3linepass - May 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I cannot wait to watch this folly unfold! Yesterday I commented that a goalie upgrade and top-5 talent were good moves. 24 hours later….. Cue the “yakety sax” music! This should be good……….

  10. govtminion - May 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    “We’re open to any deal that might make the team better… I mean, other than the obvious, firing me and hiring a GM who has some idea of what he’s doing.”

    Seriously, after last year’s Vanek fiascos- both of them- I’m amazed they didn’t make a GM change.

    • jernster21 - May 23, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      The problem is I don’t think there’s anyone above Garth Snow, except for the owner. No president of hockey operations or anything like that, so basically there’s no one except for Wang to actually fire him and he’s just the money so none of this comes as too much of a surprise as ridiculous as it is.

  11. 33to22 - May 23, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    David Booth and our 6th pick for your 5th? 😳 And we’ll raise your shoulder-stuffed sweater to our inglorious rafters to help sweeten the deal. Whadya say?!

  12. djshnooks - May 23, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Good lord…Imagine Connor McDavid AND Jack Eichel ending up in Buffalo?

    Oy! I’d poop my knickers.

    (One scout said the other day on the radio…IF that happens, give them the cup.)

    • jl9830 - May 24, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      I don’t know how after this season, when the Islanders got hit hard with injuries and had a team save percentage of .894 (!!) and had the 5th overall pick, you think with Halak, the Islanders will be worst or second-worst next year. Realistically, there’s no chance.

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