Battle of the Scouting Departments – Part 4 of 5

Stuart McDonald


Jordan Staal


(Out a day early to get it to you, the reader, before the draft begins)


Why should you read this series of articles? Not one of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm or Pavel Datsyuk were selected in the first round. Everyone knows about the top prospects in the upcoming draft. How many know about the top scouting staffs and especially, the directors of amateur scouting – the secondary stars of the draft? I plan to single out the decision makers on each team and see how they've done recently. I'm going to focus on the most recent drafts (2005-2008) only.



The teams are presented in alphabetical order. Four of the five articles will be published prior to the draft. Please note: This is not an assessment of each team's current prospects but an examination of the people currently doing the drafting and how well those people have done in recent drafts.


New York Islanders (F)

Draft day decision makers: Between the 2005 and 2007 drafts, only four members of the Islanders pro and amateur scouting staff were retained. Considering that group usually ranges from 12 to 15 scouting personnel, the Isles had already made significant talent evaluator changes prior to GM Garth Snow's arrival in July 2006. Of the four scouts retained, only Ryan Jankowski remains on the amateur side. Jankowski is the current Assistant General Manager/Director of Amateur Scouting for the Islanders. Jankowski was Chief European Amateur Scout in 2005, so only European draft picks will be evaluated. It's pointless to evaluate other Islanders draft picks prior to 2007 because the people who made draft picks are no longer with the organization.    

2005 – No European-based players were selected.  
2006 – Labelled a bust by many, Jesse Joensuu came into his own last season scoring 20 goals for AHL Bridgeport. A proto-typical power forward, Joensuu has taken time to grow into his body and his demanding role. If Joensuu turns into a top-six power forward, he'll be a bargain with the 60th pick. Swedish forward Robin Figrin, taken 10 picks later, is proving to be a much less insightful pick. The Islanders also used their 115th, 141st and 173rd picks to draft Europeans without much success. It wasn't a