For the last couple of years, the fan base of the New York Islanders has wanted the team to acquire a top offensive player. The front office seems to be on the same page as they almost acquired Taylor Hall from Edmonton last summer. Let’s break down the goal scorer trade options for the Isles.
During the last two playoff appearances and down the stretch in this year’s regular season, the New York Islanders offense betrayed them. In these critical games, they were on the wrong side of 3-2 and 2-1 contests.
This summer it’s time the blue and orange address this problem.
With the Tampa Bay Lightning desperately needing blue line help and in a cap crunch, the word is Jonathan Drouin is on the trade market. The 22-year old is coming off a 21 goal, 53 point year. He is also a restricted free agent this summer.
It’s no secret Drouin has had problems with the organization. General manager, Steve Yzerman might think it’s time he solves some of his team’s issues and uses Drouin to do so.
New York Islanders
Colorado needs to rebuild their organization and might use either Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog to do so.
Duchene is coming off a terrible year, scoring just 18 goals and posting 41 points. In addition, he was a -34 last year. Yikes!
Believe it or not, Duchene has only scored three more goals than Brock Nelson the last three years.
Jordan Eberle could be a good fit on Tavares right side. The 27-year old had a bit of a down season last year scoring 20 goals and posting 51 points. However, the three prior seasons, Eberle scored 25,24 and 28 respectively.
After a breakout season two years ago (31 goals, 58 points, +35) the 25-year old Tyler Toffoli had a tough campaign this past season (16 goals, 34 points). Toffoli is a restricted free agent and the Kings have a lot of holes on that roster.
James Van Riemsdyk
The 28-year old James Van Riemsdyk had another strong season this past year. The left-winger scored 29 goals along with 62 points.
However, Van Riemsdyk is signed for just one more season ($4.25 million) and then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Would the Islanders want to sign Van Riemsdyk to a 5-year extension that would bring 6’3 winger into his mid-thirties?
Then we get to yours truly top trade target for the Islanders and that is Blake Wheeler. The right winger turns 31 this summer and has put up 74 and 78 point seasons the last two years.
One might ask why would Winnipeg trade the 6’5, 225lbs winger. A couple of reasons why the Jets would listen on a big package for Wheeler.
First, Winnipeg must improve dramatically on the blue line to become a contender in the West. Second, Wheeler becomes a UFA in two years at age 33. Will the Jets sign him to a big deal then, when they have to lock up Jacob Trouba and Patrik Laine over the next two years?
Having said that it would take a big package to land Wheeler. Think of a package of Travis Hamonic (hometown boy), Nelson, and Keifer Bellows.
Under no circumstances should the Isles include Mathew Barzal in any of these potential deals. Just about everyone else is on the table but not Barzal, who will be a dynamic player for the Isles the next ten-years-plus.