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Islanders Must Trade Sabers For Draft Cole Eiserman – Hockey Writers – NHL Entry Draft

The 2024 NHL Entry Draft in The Sphere is approaching, and the first round will be held on June 28. The San Jose Sharks hold the first pick and are expected to take Macklin Celebrini. Since then, the rest of the draft has no consensus ratings so anything can happen.

The New York Islanders are in position to make a first-round pick for the first time since 2019 when they took Simon Holmstrom. The club has an empty squad and is in dire need of adding some top talent. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be accomplished in the 20th pick, so they need to trade up in the top 12 to draft a future star.

Why Cole Eiserman?

Islanders should not trade to trade, rather they should trade to prepare for the future. While the team is in winning mode now, adding top talent to the prospect pool seems like the best way to prepare for next season and beyond. For 2024 Draft Prospects, no one is a better fit than winger, Cole Eiserman.

Eiserman is 6-foot, 196 pounds, and a native of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He doesn't turn 18 until Aug. 29, and is one of the youngest prospects in the 2024 Draft. He's a lefty, a positional need for the Islanders, and arguably has the best shot in the draft. He finished his US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) career with 127 goals, breaking the program's all-time record. He is taking his talent to Boston University next season, a program that has helped develop a number of NHL stars such as Jack Eichel, Clayton Keller, Brady Tkachuk, and Trevor Zegras.

Related: Cole Eiserman – 2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

If the Islanders were to trade the 11th pick in the draft, currently owned by the Buffalo Sabres, why would Eiserman still be available? The short answer to that question is there are concerns about his overall abilities. Although he has great skill, many fans believe he is one-dimensional, lacking the swing and playmaking ability to translate his success to the NHL. While this happens from time to time with hockey greats, like former Islanders first-round pick Oliver Wahlstrom, this can't be the case with Eiserman.

Cole Caufield, who held the USNTDP goal record with 126, was the top consensus prospect in the 2019 Draft but fell to the Montreal Canadiens at pick 15 because he lacked size and complete game. However, he proved them wrong, scoring 49 goals and 88 points in 67 games with the University of Wisconsin over the next two seasons. From there, he joined the Canadiens and has established himself as one of the NHL's leading scorers.

Cole Eiserman, USNTDP (Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP)

Although Eiserman and Caufield are different players, they share similarities that NHL teams should recognize. Sometimes the best option is the most obvious. While the 2024 Draft is loaded with top talent, the Islanders must make a trade to ensure Eiserman lands in New York. He is currently expected to take the 11th spot, so there is a good chance that the Islanders can draft him if they go up against Buffalo. However, teams are likely to wait to make a trade until it is confirmed that Eiserman will be available at that time.

What Would a Trade Look Like?

If the Islanders were going to keep up with Buffalo, they would need to offer something enticing. The deal would include the 20th pick, which would move the Sabers back just nine spots in the first round. From there, the Islanders will bolster Buffalo's depth by sending center, Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Pageau is one of the league's best defensive centers and faceoff specialists. He finished last season with a 55.4% faceoff percentage and six shorthanded points. He was always relied on late in games and was the team's most defensive forward. Although his offense is difficult, scoring only 11 goals and 33 points, he is ready to rise again next season. His teammates were a revolving door all season, playing in nine line combinations for most of his season.

In addition to Pageau and the pick, the Islanders could offer one of two 2024 second-round picks, sitting at 54th and 61st overall. Also, they could offer Wahlstrom to add a tall, physical presence to Buffalo's bottom six. Ultimately, a deal can only happen if Buffalo believes they can land a 20-year-old pick. And with the uncertainty at this stage of the draft, there's a good chance it will be.

With the Islanders getting their first round pick in five years, it is important that they make the most of this opportunity. The roster is rich with talent, and the team needs to secure a top player in a well-planned development process. No one fits this criteria better than Eiserman.

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