James O'Brien

New York Islanders v New York Rangers

Trade: Oilers send picks 16 and 33 to Islanders for Griffin Reinhart


The New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers combined for an eyebrow-raiser during the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Oilers sent the 16th and 33rd picks in 2015 to the Islanders for defenseman Griffin Reinhart. GM Garth Snow & Co. already cashed in that 16th pick, nabbing Mathew Barzal.

Barzal could be an interesting upside guy for the Islanders, as the playmaker’s stock dropped a bit thanks in part to a knee injury. Read more about the prospect here.

(We’ll wait until Saturday to see what comes of that 33rd pick.)

Edmonton should be familiar with Reinhart, as he won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings. The 21-year-old’s name has been connected to interesting draft-day stories already, as the Columbus Blue Jackets memorably turned down a boatload of Islanders picks and took Ryan Murray in 2012, forcing New York to settle for Reinhart.

At least, it certainly seems like they settled considering this move.

The Oilers’ side is obvious, too: they add another young player and try to improve a shaky blueline in this bold swap.

Boston University or Buffalo? Eichel’s still playing coy (Video)

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

So much for Jack Eichel answering the (oddly) lingering question about his professional future once the inevitable happened and the Buffalo Sabres selected him twice overall.

Eichel said he would share his decision to either stick with Boston University or join the Buffalo Sabres once he got drafted, but he wasn’t willing to do so right away, as he deflected the question when asked by NBCSN’s Kathryn Tappen:

Maybe he’s shifting from “once I’ve been drafted” to “once I get signed.”

It’s a little odd, but Eichel has been sticking with this story all along, from the day before the draft to weeks in advance.

Hurricanes make Noah Hanifin the fifth pick

2015 NHL Draft - Top Prospect Availability

The Carolina Hurricanes could stand to improve in several areas, so it makes sense that they opted for a quality player in Noah Hanifin with the fifth overall pick.

Hanifin is a standout defenseman who just finished his freshman season with Boston College. He sports the sort of size and puck-moving skills that are virtually always sought after on the blueline, especially for a team that’s often struggled in that area.

Getting him with the fifth pick is a solid mini-steal, as some pegged him to be the third pick in 2015. During weaker years, Hanifin would have come into a draft with far more hype.

Also, here is a photo of him with a snake for no clear reason.

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

Want to know more about the defenseman? Check out this profile.

First draft mystery solved: Coyotes select Dylan Strome third overall

2015 NHL Combine

The first two picks of the 2015 NHL Draft went as everyone expected, but now it’s time for intrigue. The Arizona Coyotes selected forward Dylan Strome third overall.

Strome brings size, skill and good genes to the table. The New York Islanders grabbed his brother Ryan Strome with the fifth overall choice back in 2011. (The Stromes might have another nice prospect some day with Matt …)

Dylan Strome lined up with Connor McDavid in 2014-15, grabbing the OHL scoring title with 129 points in 68 games as a member of the Lake Erie Otters. The Coyotes missed out on one of the two biggest names in this draft, but for an offense-needy team like Arizona, Strome seems like a logical fit.

Get to know more about Strome here.

WATCH LIVE: First round of the 2015 NHL Draft

2015 NHL Draft - Top Prospect Availability

If the deluge of trades earlier on Friday really rank as “the calm before the storm,” then we’re in for a memorable night.

Either way, the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft will answer plenty of burning questions, even if Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are virtually assured to go first and second overall. Here are just a smattering of things that will clear up:

  • Who will go third?
  • Are the Bruins going to use the 13th, 14th and 15th picks or do they have more tricks up their sleeves?
  • Could we see the Blackhawks move back into the first round (and move some salary to do so)?
  • Will we see other big swaps? Who might slip down the ranks considering the bevy of talent available?

With salary cap constraints and rumors bubbling up, it should be a fascinating situation to watch, even if teams merely make their picks. You can watch it all transpire on NBCSN and stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra: