If Boqvist falls out of the top 10, you will likely see another Lou Lamoriello boss-like stride to the podium. The team is pretty much-set upfront depending on what happens with John Tavares, but lack an impact puck mover on the blueline.
Boqvist will be a project as he played in the Swedish junior league this past season, so he will probably stay in Sweden for at least another season. Many are comparing his skills to Erik Karlsso, because of his smooth skating ability.
Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst believes the young Swede owns the hardest shot among defenders in the draft. He’s not the most aggressive defender due to having a smaller frame and he’ll struggle at first with defending against bigger bodies in the NHL.
However, this is a high-risk, high-reward prospect the Islanders can’t pass on and would be a welcome addition to the Lamoriello era.
Thanks to Calgary, the Islanders have back-to-back picks and going for a forward with this one makes the most sense.
Knowing the kind of players Lou likes to have in his ranks, Veleno has to be the guy if available. He’s a workhorse guy who tries to make the players around him better, rather than focusing on himself and his own success.
Many of those plays come at high speed, but Veleno has the skill to score himself when the opportunity arises. Serving as captain of the Saint Ice Sea Dogs before getting traded, the Montreal native is a natural leader and knows the team comes first.
He’s obviously no Tavares, but Veleno would be a good addition to the Islanders’ reformed centre pool. However, if he can become a top-six guy behind Mathew Barzal, that team in Brooklyn (or wherever they end up) will be set.