By Warren Kozireski —
After not having a first-round pick in the New York Islanders had six picks on day two and began by selecting Aatu Raty 52nd overall in the second round.
Projected as a first rounder, his stock dropped a bit after scoring just six points in 35 games. A 6’1”, 181 lb. center from Finland, his older brother Aku is with the Arizona organization as a fifth-round pick in 2019.
“I’m super happy to be drafted by the Islanders,” Raty said. “I think my strengths are my hockey sense, my playmaking and my stickhandling. Tough season for me and the team I played for. It’s a super tough league with grown men…and I kind of struggled to get consistent minutes, but it got better near the end and I’ll be more ready next season.”
In the third round 93rd overall, the Islanders selected goaltender Tristan Lennox via Saginaw in the Ontario Hockey League. Sized at 6’4” and 190 lb. the Mississauga native did not play in 2020-21, but registered a 20-8-3 record with a 3.63 goals against average in 33 games.
“It’s definitely been a tough year for me missing the game and the people I compete with daily,” Lennix said. “I was with the Toronto Marlies for a bit as well, so that helped me see the pro game. Mitch is a really good goalie coach and…just learning things from him daily will only help me to get the next level, so I’m really excited to work with him for sure.”
125th overall in the fourth round, University of Nebraska-Omaha bound center Cameron Berg (6’0”, 192 lb.) was taken. He scored 27 goals and racked up 58 points in 51 games this past season with Muskegon in the United States Hockey League and added four goals in four playoff games.
With the 157th overall pick in the fifth round, the Islanders tabbed 6’2”, 205 lb. left wing Eetu Liukas from Liiga, Finland. He had seven points in 24 games last season.
Finnish defenseman Aleksi Malinen was their sixth-round choice 189th overall. 6’0”, 185 lb., the defensive specialist had four points in 38 games with three different teams last season and is expected to return to Liiga in the fall. He has never scored more than three goals or 14 points in one season.
Their final selection, 221st overall, was 6’4”, 189 lb. Czech defenseman Tomas Machu. He jumped around to five different teams this past season combining for two goals and ten points over 25 games including the U-18 tournament.