Not official yet, but it sounds as though the New York Islanders are going to keep the fifth overall pick at this year’s draft and send their 2015 first-rounder — a potential lottery ticket to the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes — to Buffalo as compensation for the Thomas Vanek trade.
Here’s Newsday’s Arthur Staple:
Indications are that the Islanders will hold onto this year’s pick to either select one of the five top prospects who are fairly equally rated, or trade the pick to acquire a more NHL-ready player.
And here’s SNY.tv, passing along a report from a Thursday night fan forum GM Garth Snow attended on Long Island:
Snow, Doug Weight and other Islanders were at Westbury Manor to meet with fans. According to Rob Del Muro, a producer for News 12 who was in attendance, Snow wouldn’t fully commit to retaining the 2014 pick but it seemed like it was a very likely scenario.
Garth wouldn’t 100% commit but said he would “wager any amount of money that they will retain this years first round pick #isles
— Rob Del Muro (@gmen8069) April 17, 2014
The Isles have until June 1 to notify the Sabres whether they’ll surrender this year’s pick, or defer to next year.