With the trade deadline coming up in the beginning of March, many New York Islanders fans are hoping Islanders General Manager Garth Snow pulls the trigger on a move that could help with the special teams or possibly another backup for Jaroslav Halak. So before I talk about as to who is available and what it would take to get them, let’s take a look at what the Islanders have to offer.
First the draft picks. Assuming the Islanders do not trade Johnny Boychuk, the Islanders have two third round picks. They traded their 2014 third round pick to Florida for their 2015 third rounder. If the Islanders do trade Boychuk, then they give one of their two third rounder’s to Boston. The Islanders also have a fourth rounder that may have some value. But a lack of a first and second rounder means that if the Islanders are to make a deal, some players may be moved to a team looking to unload a future unrestricted free agent.
Now onto the players. On offense, the Isles are not going to trade prospects like Michael Dal Colle or Josh Ho-Sang. Current young Islanders Anders Lee, Ryan Strome, or Brock Nelson won’t be dealt because they’re part of the immediate future. Colin McDonald, Josh Bailey, Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen & Casey Cizikas have increased there trade value. However, throw in a third round pick and that might get you a decent return. But from what I’ve learned is that when certain players come back from long injuries, such as Kyle Okposo, it’s as good as making a deal without giving anything up. Yes, the penalty kill and power play units may need an upgrade and Okposo coming back will help with the powerplay, and if Michael Grabner can stay healthy for the rest of the season and playoffs, you could see the penalty kill unit improve.
On defense, I don’t think the Islanders will part with Ryan Pulock or Griffin Reinhart. Matt Donovan is an option but has not played all season. Brian Strait and a third rounder may not fetch much, but maybe a Thomas Hickey. Do the Isles contemplate trading Calvin de Haan? With the contract extension to Nick Leddy, the Islanders now have Hamonic, Leddy, Reinhart & Pulock locked in for the near future but I don’t think the Isles will make a huge move to trade either Boychuk or de Haan. The Islanders do have decent prospects in Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech, but they would be better served staying and getting some extra time to further their development.
Islanders backup Chad Johnson has come on strong as of late, but I cannot rule out the possibility of him being traded. I don’t think the Isles should trade for another starter and if Johnson continues to win while at the same time give Halak the needed rest, then you wouldn’t get much in return if you were to include him with a third rounder.
So for me, the key is an extra third rounder in this years draft. Both are not high picks because Florida and the Isles have had a very good year, not to mention that this year is not as deep as last years and to my knowledge no GM will be trading many of next years picks because of the depth, but the draft is still a crap shoot. The Islanders would have to make some trade and it probably would upset two things: chemistry on the team and a bunch of Islanders fans. With players coming back from injuries and the expansion of the rosters, it may be to the Islanders benefit to stay put and run with the young talent. Could there be some drama? Sure. My gut is telling me that it won’t be a Nick Leddy trade. I will still be intrigued though. How about you? Thoughts? Comments?