A funny thing has happened in the past month-and-a-half. Since sacrificing three major pieces to obtain Thomas Vanek from the Sabres, the Islanders have been in a veritable tail spin; a tail spin that has taken them to just a handful of points away from the Sabres home in the NHL’s basement.
New York’s descent to the bottom of the Metro Division and NHL standings have left the organization, Garth Snow specifically, in a precarious situation as the rest of this season unfolds. Despite the massive shortcomings in the Metro Division, it would appear that the Islanders are dead in the water with regard to the Eastern Conference playoff picture. That leaves them just a few points from the basement and the potential to land a top-five pick based on their spot in the lottery. But with the Islanders due to fork over a first round pick to Buffalo in exchange for Vanek, Snow and his staff will need to determine if they want to lose a potential first round pick this year or miss out on what could be a very valuable chip in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.
When the Vanek trade went through, determining which pick would turn Snow from saving to sacrificing his 2015 pick was a hot topic of conversation. However, talking about what Snow’s train of thought would be with a pick in the five-to-eight range is much different than if the Islanders are picking in the top three. The former being the more popular train of thought as a late slide out of playoff contention seemed like it could be the most likely scenario the Sabres would find themselves in terms of snagging a second first round pick this year.
With the Islanders struggling as badly as they have, a few more factors come into play with regard to their next two first round picks. Continue reading