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NY Islanders Day Two


(Pictured above Xavier Veilleux)

By Warren Kozireski —

One day after adding Cole Eiserman to their stable of prospects in the first round, the New York Islanders added five more on day two of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in Las Vegas.

The second day began with two second round selections.

They went defense and size in 6’6”, 220 lb. left shot Finnish defenseman Jesse Pulkkinen with the 54th overall selection.

“I’m so excited with this team; good city and fans,” Pulkkinen said. “I am an offensive defenseman.”

He registered a combined 40 points in 53 games with three different squads in Finland and added three points in the seven game U-20 World Juniors.

Their other second round selection—61st overall—was U.S. National Team Development Program and Boston University bound forward Kamil Bednarik, who joins his former and future teammate in first round selection Cole Eiserman. The 6’0”, 180 lb. center netted a combined 37 goals with 58 assists over 88 games and added six points at the U-18 Worlds.

(Kamil Bednarik)

“I’m a 200-foot player; I think I play really well at both ends of the ice…me being good defensively at the same time I can produce offensively as well, so I think that’s a good balance,” Bednarik said. “I lived in New Jersey for one year when I played for the New Jersey Rockets, so I kind of fell in love with that east coast area.”

The Islanders then chose goaltenders in back-to-back rounds in 21-year-old Russian Dmitri Gamzin in the fourth round and 6’6”, 212 lb. Swedish goaltender Marcus Gidlof in the fifth.

Gamzin played in both the VHL and the KHL with CSKA Moscow and had  a solid .922 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average in the higher-level league. In 26 games with J20 Nationell at Leksands, Gidlof registered a 2.22 goals against average and .923 save percentage during the regular season.

Their sixth round and final draft choice was Quebec native and 6’0’, 190 lb. defenseman Xavier Veilleux, who played last season with Muskegon in the USHL and is committed to Harvard in 2025. He had 32 points in 62 games last season.

“Nothing against the QMJHL, but I just wanted a longer path for my development,” Veilleux said about his decision to pursue junior hockey in the U.S. “They showed interest…I knew they were one of the teams that showed interest, but I’m super-happy.”

(Photos by Koz, NY Hockey OnLine)