The New York Islanders went into the 2011 NHL Draft with a top five pick for a third consecutive season. The franchise had selected John Tavares with the first overall pick in 2009 and Nino Niederreiter with the fifth overall pick in 2010. They went into the draft looking to add another cornerstone as a rebuilding franchise.
The Islanders entered the draft with picks 5, 34, 50, 63, 95, 125, 127, and 185. They acquired the 50th pick in the draft in a trade with Montreal in exchange for James Wisniewski. They acquired the 63rd pick from the Colorado Avalanche at the 2010 draft in exchange for a fourth round pick. They acquired the 127th pick from Atlanta during the 2010 draft.
At the end of the draft, the Islanders selected two centers, two left wingers, and four defensemen. Ryan Strome, Scott Mayfield, Johan Sundstrom, and John Persson all went on to wear an Islanders sweater, although Persson is no longer in the organization.
Ryan Strome, C, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) – 1st Round, 5th Overall
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 189
The Islanders took Ryan Strome with the fifth overall pick after he had a strong season in junior that saw him accumulate 106 points. Strome was considered a top prospect for the draft and was ranked number eight among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He was drafted as a center and was seen as the long-term option behind John Tavares for the second-line center spot.
After getting drafted, Strome went on to play two more seasons at the OHL level before turning pro. He finished his OHL career with an astounding 295 points. During that time, he also represented Canada at the World Junior Championship twice, playing a key offensive role both times. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 tournament.
Upon finishing his OHL career, Strome moved on to the professional ranks with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the 2013-14 season. He dominated this level, scoring 49 points in 37 games before receiving a call-up to New York. With the Islanders, Strome notched 18 points in 37 games for the struggling squad. Despite only playing 37 games, Strome was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team.
Strome broke out offensively during the 2014-2015 season, finishing with 50 points. He added a strong postseason on top of that, with four points in a seven-game series loss to the Washington Capitals.
Strome had a tough 2015-2016 season, posting only 28 points, but still has untapped scoring potential as a top-six forward.
Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) – 2nd Round, 34th Overall
NHL Games Played: 11
Scott Mayfield was drafted out of the USHL in the second round. He was viewed as a big, strong, physical defenseman with good size and upside as a shutdown defenseman. Mayfield was committed to the University of Denver where he would go on to play two seasons. The St. Louis native finished his collegiate career with 29 points and 188 penalty minutes.
Mayfield turned pro after his time at Denver. He played six games at the end of the 2012-13 season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and played the majority of the 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 seasons at the AHL level. Mayfield has accumulated 44 points in 200 career AHL games.
He made his NHL debut at the end of the 2013-14 season. The Islanders were hit with injuries and Mayfield appeared in five games down the stretch. Mayfield would not see NHL action again until the 2015 postseason where he played two of the seven games against the Washington Capitals. Mayfield saw time again during the 2015-16 season, appearing in six games and scoring his first NHL point, a goal against the Buffalo Sabres. Mayfield will compete for a full time roster spot in the fall.
Johan Sundstrom, C, Frolunda HC (SHL) – 2nd Round, 50th Overall
NHL Games Played: 11
Johan Sundstrom was taken with the second of the two second round picks the Islanders possessed. He was drafted out of Sweden as a center who had good size and hockey sense. During his draft year, Sundstrom played 41 games in the SHL, Sweden’s top professional league. He spent another season in Sweden before crossing the pond to play in North America.
In his first season in the AHL, Sundstrom showed promise by putting up 32 points in 59 games. With his strong all-around play, he was viewed as a long-term option for the third-line center spot. The following season he took a step back by only putting up 18 points in 40 games. He saw NHL action at the end of the season when injuries hit the Islanders. He appeared in 11 games and recorded an assist, his first and only point of his NHL career. Sundstrom played in his final season in North America in 2014-15, where he recorded 19 points in 72 games in the AHL.
Sundstrom returned to his homeland this past season where he put up 36 points in 51 games, which placed him among the top 20 scorers in the SHL. He and his Frolunda teammates had a successful postseason, with Frolunda winning the SHL championship and Sundstrom being named the playoff MVP. He will return to Frolunda HC again next season, with his NHL future unknown at this point.
Andrey Pedan, D, Guelph Strom (OHL) – 3rd Round, 63rd Overall
NHL Games Played: 13
The Russian-born Andrey Pedan was drafted out of the OHL, where he was playing for the Guelph Storm. Like Mayfield, Pedan was a giant defender (listed as 6’5″) with upside. In his draft year, he had 12 points in the regular season, but contributed eight points in six playoff games. Pedan continued his strong play in the following OHL seasons, posting 40 and 44 points.
After finishing his OHL career, Pedan turned pro for the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to 35 total games during the season, including playoffs. He appeared in 28 games for the Sound Tigers during the regular season and contributed 10 points.
On Nov. 25th, 2014, Pedan was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Alexandre Mallet and a third round draft pick in 2016. He spent the majority of the 2014-15 season at the AHL level playing for the Utica Comets. Pedan made his NHL debut during the 2015-16 season, appearing in 13 games for the Canucks, although he had no points and a -3 rating.
Robbie Russo, D, U.S. National Developmental Team (USHL) – 4th Round, 95th Overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Robbie Russo was drafted out of the U.S. NTDP as an offensive defenseman. The Illinois native was the leading scorer for the United States National Team in his draft year. He also gained attention after captaining the United States to a gold medal at the U18 World Championship, adding eight points in six games.
After getting drafted, Russo spent the next four seasons at the University of Notre Dame. Russo put up a respectable 14 points in his freshman season and built on that with 23 points in his sophomore season. He missed half of the 2013-14 junior season after being academically suspended. During his senior season, Russo was one of the highest scoring defenseman in the country with 41 points in 40 games.
After finishing his collegiate career, Russo did not receive a contract offer from the Islanders. The organization had strong defensive depth which left little room for Russo. He was signed by the Detroit Red Wings organization and had a good 2015-16 season, notching 39 points in 71 AHL games.
John Persson, LW, Red Deer Rebels (WHL) – 5th Round, 125th Overall
NHL Games Played: 10
John Persson was the second Swede the Islanders took in the 2011 NHL Draft. He was drafted as an overager after having a strong season playing on a line with the 2011 first overall draft pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Although he wasn’t the strongest skater, Persson had a good shot and a knack for scoring goals around the net.
After getting drafted, Persson played another season for the Red Deer Rebels before turning pro. Persson got a strong start to his pro career at the end of the 2011-12 season with eight points in 12 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The following season, Persson put up 29 points in 65 games for that club. He would then put up 16 and 21 points in the subsequent two seasons.
Persson received his only NHL call-up at the end of the 2013-14 season. He scored one goal against the Washington Capitals in his 10 NHL games.
Like Sundstrom, Persson also returned home to Sweden to play in the SHL this past season. He scored 16 points in 51 games. He will return to Farjestad HC for the 2016-17 season.
Brenden Kichton, D, Spokane Chiefs (WHL) – 5th Round, 127th Overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Brenden Kichton was drafted out of the WHL as an overager. He was seen as a strong offensive defenseman who moved the puck well and could run a power play. During his draft year, Kichton scored 19 points, but then exploded for 81 points during the 2010-11 season. Despite scoring 81 points, Kichton wasn’t taken until the fifth round over concerns about his defensive play. Standing at 5’10”, Kichton lacked the size to contain bigger forwards at the next level.
Kichton played in the WHL for two more seasons after getting drafted. He scored 74 points during the 2011-12 season and then 85 points during the 2012-13 season.
Kichton did not receive a contract offer from the Islanders and was re-selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2013 NHL Draft. He turned pro for the 2013-14 season and has amassed 118 points in 209 AHL games over the past three seasons. Kichton has yet to receive a call-up to the NHL.
Mitchell Theoret, LW, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) – 7th Round, 185h Overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Mitchell Theoret was the Islanders final selection of the 2011 draft. He was drafted as a grinder who could potentially play in the bottom six in the NHL. He wasn’t much of an offensive contributor as he scored 20 points in his draft year and 21 points the year after. In his final two OHL seasons, Theoret added some offense, scoring a combined 111 points in 112 games.
After finishing his OHL career, Theoret played a game for the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL at the end of the 2013-14 season. He then played in the Germany3 league for 12 games before returning home to Canada to play for the University of Prince Edward Island of the CIS.
Hockey’s Future looks back at the 2011 NHL Draft of the New York Islanders in the video below, including 2011 NHL Combine footage of top pick Ryan Strome, and draft footage of second pick Scott Mayfield.
Notable Playoff Performances
Michael Dal Colle had 18 points in nine games for the Kingston Frontenacs in their quest for the OHL championship. The Frontenacs beat Dal Colle’s former team, the Oshawa Generals, in the first round, before losing to the Niagara Ice Dogs in the second round.
Josh Ho-Sang had 26 points in 17 games for the Niagara IceDogs in the OHL playoffs. The IceDogs advanced to the OHL Championship, but lost to the London Knights in four consecutive games. Ho-Sang finished tied for fourth in OHL playoff scoring.
Mathew Barzal had 26 points in 18 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL playoffs. Seattle lost in the WHL finals to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Barzal finished tied for fourth in WHL playoff scoring.
Anthony Beauvillier had 30 points in 21 games for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL playoffs. The Cataractes made it to the QMJHL finals before losing to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Beauvillier finished second in QMJHL playoff scoring.
Prospect of the Month
Anthony Beauvillier is the Islanders Prospect of the Month after a strong postseason. He finished his playoff run with 15 goals and 15 assists, leading the Cataractes to the QMJHL finals where they ultimately lost the series, 4-1. Beauvillier was the best player for Shawinigan as he scored the lone goal for the Cataractes in Games 2 and 3 and was named first star in their Game 4 win.
Follow Christian Litscher on Twitter via @ChristianL289