Welcome back to the Futures Mailbag, where I will answer any prospect and draft-related questions you the readers may have. If you have a query, hit me up on Twitter (@THNRyanKennedy) and use the hashtag #thnfutures to make sure I scoop it up. If you don’t see your question this week, stay tuned – there’s always some overflow. Let’s get to it:
The Islanders’ move from suburban Nassau County to Brooklyn, New York City’s largest borough, means more than a new venue in a new town for the up-and-coming club. It also has serious implications for the team’s existing Long Island fan base and presents an opportunity to develop a new one.
What is little known, however, is that the move ushers in a different and unique business model for owner Charles Wang and his partners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, one that offloads the team’s entire back-office operation to the Barclays Center staff.
Essentially, the hockey team no longer administers or controls its own business operation, a highly unusual situation. Read more
We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.
A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”
Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.
What have you been doing this summer? Perfecting your rib sauce for barbecue season? Laying the groundwork for perhaps building a deck at some point? I haven’t done anything more productive than catch up on my Netflix queue and that may not change.
New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang, on the other hand, has been doing meaningful things.
It’s a Tuesday morning in downtown Toronto and New York Islanders captain John Tavares is putting his star power to good use. A son of the city’s suburbs, Tavares is promoting the Canadian Suit Drive, a charity initiative spearheaded by Moores, which aims to provide donated suits and other professional clothing to men and women seeking employment.
“It’s great to be involved and we’re hoping for a strong finish,” Tavares said. “It’s an initiative that helps lot of people get back on their feet and back in the workforce.”
This is the John Tavares of now, the John Tavares who has already been through the wars in the NHL and is still just 24 years old. A phenom who entered the OHL a year early and set the template for exceptional players such as Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid (the exemption is colloquially called the ‘John Tavares Rule’), Tavares arrived on Long Island during a time of chaos for the organization and is now the face of a franchise on the rise.
SUNRISE – Every NHL draft pick has a support network, but for Andong Song, that group could be one billion strong some day.
Considering the increased trade speculation entering the 2015 draft, it’s only fitting Boston Bruins left winger Milan Lucic and defenseman Dougie Hamilton should resurface in the rumor mill. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claims the Bruins are listening to offers for Lucic. The asking price is apparently “big,” though Garrioch didn’t mention specifics.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes there was talk of the Bruins shipping the 27-year-old Lucic to the New York Rangers for defenseman (and Boston native) Keith Yandle. Another rumor linked the power forward to the Vancouver Canucks for a defenseman. Haggerty claims Canucks blueliner Alex Edler was mentioned in previous Bruins trade rumors. He also wonders if the Bruins could target Kevin Bieksa or Dan Hamhuis.
The Islanders put a lot of stock in the draft and, in particular, the draft combine. The franchise has been infamous in the past for making the kids they interview fill out a lengthy personality test, but clearly it serves a purpose: noted free spirit Josh Ho-Sang was nabbed in the 2014 first round, and his play has continued to be solid. Of course, they also drafted the downright wacky Kirill Kabanov a few years back, too, so it’s not an exact science.
Round 3, picks 72 and 82
Round 4, pick 112
Round 6, pick 172
Round 7, pick 202