Isles Make a Couple of Moves on Draft Day

Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury told the media in a conference call last Tuesday that he wasn't expecting any major moves, but still wanted to "rattle some trees" at this year's NHL Entry Draft. After making two deals, the Islanders used their 22nd overall pick in the first round to select Sean Bergenheim from Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League, a winger who some hockey experts claimed to be faster than any other player in this years draft.

Although he came well short of producing any earthquakes this year like he did in 2001 by trading for Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, he did manage to send a few tremors throughout the Air Canada Centre in Toronto by trading inconsistent right-winger Marius Czerkawski to the Montreal Canadiens for young bruiser Arron Asham and a 5th round draft pick. In addition, the Islanders acquired defenseman Mattias Timander, a former Bruin who Coach Peter Laviolette is very familiar with, from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 4th round draft choice.

Bergenheim had four points in 28 games this year, after moving up to Jokerit from his junior team in Vantaa. He was also a member of Team Finland at the 2002 World Junior Championship, which captured the bronze medal. During their run, Bergenheim lead the team in scoring and finished seventh in the tournament's point race.

"He has the upside to be a second liner," said Islanders European Scout Andurs Kallur.

"He's going to see more playing time the next season. That will definitely help him. He plays for one of the best clubs in Finland in Jokerit."

As part of the compensation for Mariusz Czerkawski the Islanders received Arron Asham, a gritty right-winger who Islander scouts feel can help add a much tougher presence on offense, something that was noticeably lacking throughout the Islanders playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"One of the things we said we needed after the Toronto series was more toughness and grit," said Islanders pro scout Kevin Maxwell. "Arron helps us in those two areas. He's also demonstrated the ability to score some big goals at key times when he's been at any level."

"Islanders fans will really like this kid. He has some things to still learn. But we're looking for guys to breakout, kind of like Shawn Bates and Radek Martinek did last season. This could be one of those type of guys."

In Mattias Timander, the Islanders get another workhorse on the blueline who was used to playing over twenty minutes a game last year with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and might be able to take some of the defensive load off of Adrian Aucoin and Kenny Jonsson.

"[Timander] is a big guy that has exceptional skating ability," said Islanders Assistant Coach Jacques Laperierre. "He knows his way around the defensive end of the ice and is very steady."

"I'm very excited that we could get a guy like this for just a draft pick. I think [Timander] is going to fill the minutes we were looking for next season on our blueline. Peter [Laviolette] had him in Boston and he knows what he is capable of. I think also playing with countryman Kenny Jonsson will be great for Mattias."

Quotes from NewYorkIslanders.com

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