Is the 2008 NHL Draft One Of The Best Ever?

In the NHL draft every team has seven picks, since the 2005 draft, and if your team is lucky enough, three or four of the players selected by your team will make it to the NHL.

Say what you want about Garth Snow but if there has been one thing that Snow has excelled at during his time as General Manager with the Islanders is being able to chose the right players in the draft.

Snow has been at the head of the Islanders draft table for six drafts and in each of those drafts one or more of the players have made it to the NHL or have high potential, except for his first draft in 2007 and the Islanders didn’t have a first or second round pick.

Overall Snow has done an exceptional job drafting but the 2008 class is one class that will be remembered forever.(Photo

The Islanders took:

Josh Bailey- 1st round 9th overall

Corey Trivino- 2nd round 36th overall

Aaron Ness- 2nd round 40th overall

Travis Hamonic- 2nd round 53rd overall

David Toews- 3rd round 66th overall

Jyri Niemi- 3rd round 72nd overall

Kirill Petrov- 3rd round 73rd overall

Matt Donovan- 4th round 96th overall

David Ullstrom- 4th round 102nd overall

Kevin Poulin- 5th round 126th overall

Matt Martin- 5th round 148th overall

Jared Spurgeon- 6th round 156th overall

Justin DiBenedetto 6th round 175th overall

Niemi, Petrov, Toews and Trivino, are the only ones who haven’t made it to the NHL yet. Trivino is currently dealing with some legal issues and there are questions about whether or not the Islanders are going to sign him. Toews is currently in the Chicago Blackhawks system, Niemi is in the New York Rangers system and year after year Petrov is rumored to be coming over the NHL but he is still in Russia.

The other nine players that Snow drafted that year have all suited up at least once, some more than others in the NHL.(Photo Credit:

Of the nine all have played with the Islanders with the exception of Spurgeon who is currently playing for the Minnesota Wild, after not being able to agree to a deal with the Islanders after his career in the WHL.

DiBenedetto, who has recently signed to play overseas, played eight games for the Islanders in 2010-2011.

Of the seven players left, Ness, Donovan, Ullstrom and Poulin all were big contributors to the Division Championship that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers won last season. All four of them will be vying for a spot on the Islanders roster for this upcoming season.

The four of them all have a chance to be successful NHL players as well.

Bailey, Hamonic and Martin are already staples on the Islanders roster will be for the foreseeable future and we already know the kind of players they will be in the NHL.(Photo Credit:

All 13 players have or are very close to making it to the NHL and in three or so years it is possible that all will have dressed in an NHL game.

Years from now we will look back at this draft class and say that this is one of the best top to bottom draft classes in Islanders history.

-Pete Paguaga
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