A lot of mock draft have the Islanders taking Tavares with the #1 pick. And why wouldn't they? He's likely to be a top talent. The problem is, he doesn't make sense for the Islanders on a personell basis or on an organizational basis.
Let's look at personnell first. Tavares is a sniper with less then excellent skating abilities. That means he won't be able to create his own shot in the NHL as a young player, and likely even in his prime with much consistency. That means he's going to have to rely on someone to feed him the puck in good situations. Who on the Islanders is going to do that? Who is going to do that next year? Who is going to do that in the seven seasons before Tavares is a UFA and can pick his team? The Islanders taking Tavares would have been like the Blackhawks taking Kane without having Toews. The Islanders don't have the pieces around and won't have the pieces around to utilize Tavares to the best of his abilities. Worse, he could end up being rushed to the NHL too quick, get burned out with the lack of talent around him, and flounder.
Now, from an organizational standpoint, the Islanders need just about everything other than a goalie, assuming DiPietro can stay healthy. They would be much better served moving down. I think Hedman makes a lot of sense for New York, but Duchense at third would be another great pick. What would the Avs give up to jump two spots to take Tavares? Whatever it is it would likely put the Islanders farther down the rebuilding path than simply picking Tavares would.
While I can't deny that Tavares is a great talent, and can predict with reasonable safety that the Islanders will be drafting in the low numbers again next year. Getting more pieces now and drafting a star next year would make more sense than taking Tavares now, at least in my opinion.
With that said and since Charles Wang is the owner I'm expecting the Islanders to draft Manute Bol after seeing how Chara was able to parlay his size in to a Norris Trophy.