What if I told you the New York Islanders can acquire Matt Duchene without giving up any of our promising prospects. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I believe a trade with the Dallas Stars might just make this happen.
The Dallas Stars were winners in the NHL draft lottery, jumping five slots acquiring the third overall pick. Since then, they have openly stated that they are willing to deal the pick for an established player. Stars GM Jim Nill told SiriusXM NHL Network Radio:
"I have talked to other teams already about possibly moving that pick, getting an established player back"
This is where the New York Islanders come in. A trade of the third overall pick for defenseman Travis Hamonic straight up.
Why Hamonic is Worth the Third Overall
Travis Hamonic is a proven NHL defenseman. He’s coming off a down year, granted only putting up 14 points and he’s battled through his fair share of injuries.
New York Islanders
However, he’s established himself as a solid player, a top pairing defenseman when he’s on his game. He is a leader and brings physical presence to the team, agitating the opposition. We all know he’s willing to drop the gloves if necessary.
Moreover, Hamonic who will turn 27 a couple months, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. A cap hit of 3.86 million valid for the next three seasons.
Strictly speaking, Dallas can simply use the pick to select a defenseman. But when it comes to a pick, there is no guarantee the prospect is going to pan out. History has shown this.
Let’s say the pick does make it to the NHL, it takes a couple years for a prospect to mature and get used to the pace of an NHL game playing against the best in the world. From Hamonic the Stars would be getting immediate contribution.
One more Trade for Duchene
This opens the door to a lot of options for the New York Islanders. Do they keep the 3rd overall pick? Or use it in another trade? The Islanders aren’t looking to stack up on prospects. They’re looking for a high scoring centerman without giving up our highly anticipated prospects.
The Isles could offer Brock Nelson, the 3rd and 15th overall picks for Duchene. Nelson scored at least 20 goals in each of his last three seasons. Throw in two first round picks and there you have a fair trade for Duchene.
The Islanders would still be giving up Hamonic and Nelson but they’d have Tavares and Duchene as the one-two punch at center. Combine this with the contributions from Barzal, Ho-Sang and Pulock and suddenly you have a competitive team.
With the expansion draft lurking, the Islanders will be looking to move a defenseman. Trading Hamonic will enable the Islanders to protect Ryan Pulock using the seven forwards – three defensmen format. It looks like June is going to be an interesting month Isles fans.