A lot of the people who have been guessing about what the New York Islanders will do with the top pick in the NHL Entry Draft have changed their minds.
While some had speculated the Islanders might go with Victor Hedman, other prominent people, including Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, are saying they think it will be Matt Duchene. Suddenly Duchene has become the flavour of the day with regards to who the Islanders could be taking.
There are a lot of people who look at the situation like this: there are 15,000 to 17,000 people expected at a draft party at the Nassau County Coliseum. Could the Islanders possibly go up and announce Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman when all those people are there ostensively because they want to see John Taveres drafted? Most people still believe the conventional wisdom that it will be Tavares.
My educated guess - and it is only a guess - is that the Islanders will pick Victor Hedman. We will all find out on Friday.
The Heatley Front
It was a fairly quiet day on the Dany Heatley front, but there is one thing to keep in mind. Heatley is owed $4 million in a signing bonus on July 1, which might prompt some teams to say, "we'll just wait until the Senators pay it and then we'll make the trade."
Not so fast. Senators general manager Bryan Murray says there is a shelf-life on the Heatley trade proposition and it is before July 1. The Senators do not want to have to pay that money.
Meanwhile Ottawa, like Edmonton, Toronto and teams picking in the top 10, is looking to move up if they can. Right now, the top five teams are looking like they are going to hold on to their picks, at least until the draft starts and they see where the dominoes fall and which prospects go. Then we might see some action on the draft floor with teams flip-flopping draft picks.