The New York Islanders are still looking for a second line center in their team depth chart. After John Tavares, things seemingly fall off a cliff in down the middle. How does a play for Los Angeles Kings Jeff Carter sound?
The New York Islanders need a second line center. They’ve needed one since Frans Nielsen called Garth Snow’s bluff and left in free agency just over two years ago.
They tried Ryan Strome. Didn’t Work. They tried Anthony Beauvillier, he did alright. Going into 2017-18 it seems that it might just be Brock Nelson down the middle on line two.
Maybe that’s the type of motivation Brock needs to keep from fading in and out of games as he’s apt to do. But maybe that’s just the type of player he is and no amount of motivation will change that.
He’s not a bad player. He’s a lock for 20 goals and somewhere near 45 points every year. He’s just not that dependable number two center.
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We all want Matt Duchene, but as days turn into weeks and with Travis Hamonic shipped to Calgary for some nice draft picks, the chance of that happening is dwindling. So how about Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter instead?
Making the Trade
He’s a bit longer in the tooth at 32-years-old, but he doesn’t seem to be slowing down just yet. Even though the Kings had a terrible 2016-17 season, Carter hit 66 points over 82 games. A level he hasn’t hit since his last season in Philadelphia in 2010-11.
He’s been steadily increasing his points total over the last four seasons with the Kings from 50 points in 2013-14 to the 66 we saw last season. In those 66 points, he put up 22 power play points and nine game-winners.
When trying to find that second line center I went over a few criteria. The team had to have a backup at the center position. They need a player that can step in and take over.
The Kings have both Alex Iafallo and Michael Amadio in the AHL right now. Both centers were dominant in the NCAA and AHL with 51 points in 42 games and 41 points and 68 games respectively.
The team also needs to be heading in a different direction. Outside of the teams at the very bottom of the league, your Arizona’s and Colorado’s, after firing both Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi the Kings are just that team.
In return for Carter the Kings get an okay second line center option in Brock Nelson on an expiring deal but with a guaranteed 20 goals and 45 points per season. He’s also seven years younger. They get a second first-round pick to add to their prospects pool and promising young defender Parker Wotherspoon who put up 66 points in 69 games for the WHL Tri-City Americans last season.
It should be enough to get the deal done from both sides of the table. But at worst I’d be willing to up the deal to include Devon Toews rather than Parker Wotherspoon. IHe’s a bigger asset, but that’s just how much I want Jeff Carter on this team. Assuming Matt Duchene is off the table.