Looking at the Islanders draft picks from the 2003 Draft and you can think to yourself what could have been. Jeremy Colliton (2nd round , 58th overall) still has potential to be an NHLer (even though he’s now in Europe) and the team struck gold with Bruno Gervais in the sixth round. But looking at where the team picked and who was picked right after, you can’t help but wonder what-if.
Aside from the Nilsson-Bernier-Parise slide in the first round, there are three more occurrences very similar later in the draft.
In the second round, the Islanders took a flyer on a Russian named Dmitri Chernykh at 48. Nashville picked Shea Weber at 49.
In the seventh round, the Islanders drafted Denis Rehak at 212. At 214 Edmonton grabbed Kyle Brodziak.
In the eighth round, the Islanders selected Cody Blanshan at 238. Atlanta took YoungStar Tobias Enstrom at 239.
Any draft could be labeled as missed opportunities for almost any team. If a team drafts two players that make a significant impact per draft, they did well. But the 2003 draft just makes you scratch your head. Probably just bad luck.
Luckily for the Islanders, it seems like they’ve righted their drafting ship in recent years, a big credit to Assistant GM Ryan Jankowski.