To move up 3 spots in a weakish draft ? Not likely.
The top 5 isn't weak. At the 4 spot a team can still get a guy with first line center potential, at the 7 spot there is only top 6 winger potential. You need to consider the significant drop off in talent. So it would be two top 6 winger prospects for 1 top line center prospect, it is pretty fair value.
There is just no way that the Islanders can possibly think they could be this bad again next year with a healthy Tavares. If they do think that they should just trade JT.
It's not them being as bad necessarily.
First off its unprotected so the isles just miss the playoffs but win the lottery.
Second...there isn't much separating the teams around 5-20. The difference in points amounts to 16 pts which is a game in a 10 game block. A team wins a game they lost in each 10 game block and they are a playoff team.
With the isles that can be atributed to injuries and poor goalie play.
At the same time, they could improve but not enough. To get out of the top 6 next year.