Jan 19, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (21) controls the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Air Canada Centre. Carolina defeated Toronto 4-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
NYI receives: RW James Van Riemsdyk
Why it makes sense for NYI: Another Maple Leaf, James Van Riemsdyk may become available if the Leafs decide to blow their team up. Just 25 years old, JVR is one of the best, young offensive players in the league. It would take a lot to acquire him, which is why the Islanders would have to give up top prospect Griffin Reinhart.
Along with Reinhart, the Islanders should look into trading Michael Grabner. Grabner is owed a hefty $5 million next season, which does not match his play. Grabner has been injury-prone and struggles staying consistent.
Mayfield is a mid-level prospect that has potential and the 2nd round pick could help a team like Toronto who is looking to rebuild.
Van Riemsdyk is under contract for the next three years with a low $4.25 million cap-hit, which makes him an appealing target. He would be a long-term fit for the Islanders on the 1st line to play with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Adding Van Riemsdyk to that line would immediately make it one of the scariest trios in the NHL. Although this scenario is extremely unlikely, a phone call to the Maple Leafs inquiring about JVR can’t hurt.
Why it makes sense for TOR: The Maple Leafs are clearly on the way down and a rebuild is imminent. The Leafs appear willing to trade everyone but top prospect Morgan Reilly. Right behind Reilly on the untouchable list maybe Van Riemsdyk, but if the Leafs hear an offer they like, they just may budge. A future first defensive pairing of Reinhart and Reilly could become scary good.
Also, Michael Grabner could be a nice fill in for JVR and if he doesn’t work out, they could flip Grabner on draft pack for more picks. Mayfield is a project, but the big 6 foot 4 defenseman has the potential to become a solid player. It would take a lot for the Leafs to let go of their star player, but it may be time for them to restart.