(Quinn Finley meets the press)
By Warren Kozireski —
One day after trading their first-round draft pick—1th overall—to Montreal for defenseman Alexander Romanov, the New York Islanders made five selections on day two of the NHL Entry Draft held in Montreal.
“Well, we had an opportunity to get a 22-year-old top-four defenseman, has tremendous character, has tremendous competitiveness and so we felt, you know, it was the right thing and we were looking for a defenseman,” Lou Lamoriello said. “And we felt that in the draft, that the ones we were looking at would be gone. And it was not really a tough decision.”
In the second round 33rd overall, the Islanders selected Swedish defenseman Calle Odelius from Djurgarden. A left-handed defenseman at 6’0, 185 lb. Odelius notched seven goals with 23 assists over 43 games and added two assists over six playoff games. In 17 games representing Sweden, he tallied nine assists.
“It’s a dream come true,” Odelius said. “And this is what you play your whole life to get drafted. So yeah, to finally hear my name, it was incredible.”
In the third round, 6’0”, 166 lb. winger Quinn Finley was their pick78th overall. With Madison in the USHL, Finley had 12 goals and 17 assists in 29 games and will return there this fall before joining the University of Wisconsin in 2023.
“I just think like my high IQ, playmaking ability, I think just creating those scoring opportunities for myself and for my teammates,” Finley said.
Defenseman Isaiah George was taken with the first pick in the fourth round out of London in the OHL where the 6’0”, 196 lb. left shot had a solid rookie season with six goals and 23 points in 67 games along with 32 penalty minutes and was a +23.
“I definitely expect a bigger role (next season in London); be someone that’s relied upon in all areas of the game whether you’re up one or down one with two minutes left,” George said.
“I talked to them (the Islanders) t the combine and I felt like they saw me in a similar way to how I see myself and how I can improve and my strengths and weaknesses in my game, so I felt like they kind of knew me well as a player.”
New York went with overage forwards with their fifth and sixth round selections in Matthew Maggio of Windsor in the OHL and Daylan Kuefler via Kamloops in the WHL respectively—both were passed over in the 2021 draft.
Maggio put himself on the Islanders radar with a breakout 38 goal, 47 assists campaign in 66 games as a 5’11”, 187 lb. right wing.
And Kuefler did the same with 38 goals and 21 assist over 65 regular season games and added ten goals with seven assists over 17 playoff contests.
(Photo by Koz)