The New York Islanders had to make a difficult move this past weekend at the 2017 NHL Draft. The Isles traded Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames for three highly valued draft picks. Trading Hamonic was the right move for the Islanders.
Travis Hamonic brought many things to the New York Islanders on and off the ice. This two-way blueliner was also a leader in the locker room and presence in the community.
He was a beloved Islander these last few years and rightfully so. But due to the organization’s needs and their salary cap he needed to be traded.
Young D Coming
Pulock, the Isles, 2013, first-round pick is armed with a deadly slap shot (been clocked at 105mph) and is projected to provide a two-way game. Needless to say, he can help the Isles maddening power-play, as well as be an offensive force, as he scored 15 goals last year (in 55 games) for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
While Pelech doesn’t have Pulock’s offensive skills, he projects as a solid two-way defender.
Keep in mind top blue line prospect Devon Toews is not that far away from beginning his NHL career. He starts the year at Bridgeport but he could be ready by mid-season.
New York Islanders
If the Isles kept Hamonic they would have nearly $20 million in cap space for their top-four defenseman. Calvin de Haan is a restricted free agent this summer and will probably land a new deal around $4 million annually.
If Hamonic wasn’t moved finding a trade partner for a second-line center, after signing de Haan would be extremely difficult, to put it mildly. The Isles would only have around $1.5 million in cap space after signing de Haan.
The Isles need to land a proven second-line center this off-season. While trading Hamonic didn’t land them that player, the Isles acquired very valuable draft picks (Calgary’s 1st & 2nd in 2018 & a future 2nd) that will have a high value on the trade market.
The Isles have nearly $10 million in cap space to land a second-line center via trade or free agency and sign de Haan.
The Isles are armed and ready to land that second-line center and make this off-season a gigantic success.