By Warren Kozireski —
One day after not having a first round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders had to wait until the third round (90th overall) before their first selection and took left wing Alexander Ljungkrantz.
The 6’1”, 179 lb. put up 27 points in 52 games with Brynäs IF J20 SuperElit last season and already scored twice over the first six games this season playing another level up.
Late in the fourth round, left wing Alex Jefferies from the Gunnery School in Connecticut was the pick 121st overall. His father, Bryant, played hockey at Providence College. The 6’0”, 195 lb. scored 33 goals with 36 assists in 32 high school games this past season. He is committed to play for Merrimack this season.
“It’s an awesome organization and awesome franchise,” Jefferies said in a Zoom interview. “I’ve been watching them a lot in the playoffs the last couple of years…and I’m super excited to be a part of it.”
In Round 5, the Islanders were happy to find right wing William Dufour had fallen from his 69th ranking among North American skaters to 152nd overall. With his third QMJHL team in three seasons, the 6’3”, 201 lb. is now with Drummondville. He scored 18 goals and 33 points in 28 games there at the end of last season.
“I had a very good end of last season last year and this year I just want to produce like I did at the end,” Dufour said.
With their sixth-round pick (183rd overall), the Islanders took Finnish defenseman Matias Rajaniemi from Liiga. At 6’4”, 205 lb. he performed very well at the U-18 World Championships with five points in 12 games.
In the final round the Islanders selected Finnish goaltender Henrik Tikkanen. Standing 6’7”, 200 lb., he was passed over in his first draft in 2019, but had an .895 save percentage in 39games last season Jr. A SM-Liiga in the HIFK U-20. He is with Mestis in IPK this season.