New York Islanders Trading A Young Defender Makes Sense

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Ryan Pulock
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Ryan Pulock /

The New York Islanders have some needs up top and a ton of valuable asset on the blue line. Trading one of their at least two young stud defenseman just makes sense.

The New York Islanders still need a second line center to compliment their lineup. Yes. I know they have Mathew Barzal coming into the lineup. And yes. I saw him play on Sunday and he looked great.

But if I’m being honest I want Mathew Barzal to start on that third line. I want him to have a good 15-18 minutes of sheltered ice time. Limiting his exposure to head-to-head matchups against players like Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom is only a good thing for his development.

That would be the ideal deployment for the 19-year-old who’s going to skip the AHL altogether. The only issue for the New York Islanders is where and how do they get that second line center? Trading one of their two defensive studs is the obvious start.

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Trading Young Stud Defensemen

The New York Islanders have at least two stud defenders competing for Travis Hamonic‘s vacated roster spot this season. It’s between Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews you’d have to assume.

With all due respect to both Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield, but their skill sets seem very one-dimensional. Useful, but one-dimensional. Pulock and Toews seem to have it all.

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Come the end of camp one of Pulock or Toews will get the start on the Islanders active roster. And the other will have to stay in Bridgeport for the year. Maybe come up to cover for injuries.

Both have shown that they’re above the AHL level, scoring a combined 91 points. Keeping either down there won’t do much in terms of their development. My proposition is to flip one in a trade to land that second line center.

Who that second line center remains to be seen. I’ve

given up on Matt Duchene coming to the Islanders. The point of this was to put it out there that trading one of these two guys is an option the Islanders should explore.

Must Read: The Duchene Chase Can End Now

Why do I think this is a good idea? Why not keep two studs instead of the one?!

Look At the Pipeline

Our man Chris Lizza has laid it out a number of times now; the New York Islanders have a deep line of defensive talents to fill any voids. At least at the AHL level for now. Players like Parker Wotherspoon, Sebastian Aho, Mitch Vande Sompel can all step in next season and contribute.

Wotherspoon is coming off a 99 point in 69 game WHL season. His second 90+ point junior campaign. Sebastian Aho is fresh off a three-year ELC with the Isles and a 30 point season playing against men in the Swedish Elite League. And Vande Sompel put up 20 goals and 53 points in 67 games between the Oshawa Generals and London Knights of the OHL.

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Every single one of these guys are absolute quality prospects and can certainly step into the AHL void left by either Pulock or Toews. Making the Isles trade block all the more valuable with the picks they got for Hamonic. Now they just a partner to dance with.