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Eiserman to the NY Isles

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Eiserman eager to prove Islanders right after selection at 2024 NHL Draft

Forward says ‘having a chip on your shoulder never hurts’ after falling to No. 20 in 1st round Cole Eiserman NYI draft stage photo

© Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

ByStefen Rosner
NHL.com Independent Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Cole Eiserman was one of the top goal-scorers available in the first round of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft. That’s why the forward was shocked he fell to the New York Islanders at No. 20 on Friday.


“Obviously, you’re just waiting and seeing,” Eiserman told NHL.com. “And obviously, teams make their choices.


“I think the Islanders made the right one.”


Eiserman, 17, was second on USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-18 Team with 89 points (58 goals, 31 assists) in 57 games this season. He ranks first in NTDP history with 127 goals and 52 power-play goals.

Eiserman scored the record-breaking 127th goal for the United States in the gold medal game of the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship on May 5, a 6-4 loss to Canada.


The Islanders traded back with the Chicago Blackhawks from No. 18 on May 24. General manager Lou Lamoriello was stunned to see the left wing still available.

“We had him rated pretty high,” Lamoriello said.


“We were excited that he was there when we picked, so that's all we can say. We were looking for a certain type of player, and we were able to get it.”


Eiserman, who is committed to play for Boston University next season, said he is happy to be drafted by New York, but certainly noticed the teams that passed on him.


“All that matters is that the Islanders took me, and they’re No. 1 in my heart right now, and I’m going to do everything I can so I can win games for them,” Eiserman said. “Having a chip on your shoulder never hurts. It matters once you wear the jersey for real.”


Eiserman said he felt an extra appreciation for the Islanders during his pre-draft interviews. He is the first player they have chosen in the first round since forward Simon Holmstrom in 2019 (No. 23).


“I felt like the Islanders really understood me as a player,” Eiserman said.


“I always respect people like that because it takes a different mindset to understand how I think and how I play the game. I definitely see the game differently than a lot of people, and whether you like it or not, it’s something that I’m going to bring. [The Islanders] like it, and that’s what I’m excited about.”


New York finished 22nd in the NHL this season in goals per game (2.99). He may not be in the League next season, but his ability to provide offense is something Eiserman hopes to bring down the road.


“They see my goal-scoring,” he said. “They see what I’ve done with it, and they love that. They didn’t think about the other factors. They picked me for me, so I’m really excited.”


Lamoriello said he’s looking forward to the day Eiserman can contribute at the NHL level. In the meantime, Eiserman will play for BU coach Jay Pandolfo, who Lamoriello is very familiar with during their time together with the New Jersey Devils. Lamoriello drafted Pandolfo as Devils GM in 1993, and the former forward played with New Jersey until 2010.


“He's a pure goal-scorer, let's start off with that,” Lamoriello said of Eiserman.


“As far as seeing the game differently, everybody sees it through their own set of eyes. But what we're most pleased about is he's going to play for (Jay Pandolfo). I know what he can do and how we can develop people.


“So, it was a win-win for us. Our scouts were just delighted.”


Lamoriello was asked what the Islanders need to see out of Eiserman as he gears up to begin his collegiate career.


“He's 197 pounds. He’s young, so he just has to go mature a little, play and develop,” Lamoriello said. “He’s going to a great program and to a great coach.”

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