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Draft Picks

1205 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  geixhl
The Islanders used their first round pick Saturday on Finnish forward Petteri Nokelainen, an energetic forward known for his work ethic and tenacity around the opposition's net. In the second round, they selected Blake Comeau, an physical right wing from the Western Hockey League, who knows how to win. With their third round pick, skilled Russian center Sergei Ogorodnikov slipped to Tony Feltrin’s staff.

"[Nokelainen] is a guy who brings it every shift, night-in, night-out," said Islanders' European scout Ryan Jankowski. "He's a guy who is very aggressive and has some outstanding leadership qualities. Plus, he has offensive instincts as well when he's in position to score."

The 6-1, 187 pounder played this past season for SaiPa in the Finnish Elite League. In a veteran-laden league, Nokelainen talled four goals and eight points in 40 contests. He also played for Team Finland in the Under 20 World Championships and was also one of the leading scorers at April's Under 18 World Championships.

“The mandate for our scouts to look for a player with exceptional character combined with skill,” said GM Mike Milbury. “We got that in Nokelainen. He has great character and leadership potential.”

Said Jankowski: "This is a player who'll put you through the boards if he gets the opportunity. He's a hound for the puck and wins most of his one on one battles. He has the potential to be a captain in this league one day. He's a heart and soul type of player. We were hoping as a staff that's we'd be able to get this player."

Comeau, one of the top players at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, with a goal and three assists, projects to be a skilled third liner, one who can play a two-way game. He comes to the Islanders with a winning pedigree as a member of the 2004 Memorial Cup champion Kelowna Rockets.

Ogorodnikov scored three goals in six games for Russia at the 2004 World under-18 tournament in Minsk, following a solid season playing for THK Tver in Division 1. He's expected to play regularly with Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Super League in 2004-05.

The Islander draft pick has excellent size and skill for the pivot position, and can also line up on the wing. He was rated 11th among International skaters--and eighth among forwards--in Central Scouting's final rankings, ahead if several first round picks.
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Are there any other Isles fans active on these forums?!? I cant handle all of the Ranger fans on my own. Wake up boyz!
geixhl said:
Are there any other Isles fans active on these forums?!? I cant handle all of the Ranger fans on my own. Wake up boyz!
There were some here during the season and a few Ranger fans and Devils fans as well. I guess it is mostly Canadians and a few die hard Americans who like to discuss hockey and other matters in the Summer.
Thanks for the heads up. Looks like I'm on my own in here. Sounds like a lot of knowledgeable hockey talk goin on in the rest of the forums so thats all good with me!
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