It’s no secret that the New York Islanders lack consistency on defense. With a thriving offense to begin the season, it is not out of the question to put together a goal-scoring package to trade for a top two defenseman. Brock Nelson could be the expendable player to use as a main piece of the trade.
Over his tenure with the New York Islanders, Brock Nelson has been a polarizing player that has always shown his ability to score goals. While many fans have gripes with the 26 year old, he was able to tally 20+ goals and 40+ points in three out of his four seasons with the team.
Although the forward has never had shining possession numbers, his knack for scoring goals could be valuable for a team struggling to put pucks in the net. By packaging him with the picks the Islanders gained in the Travis Hamonic trade this summer, the team could come away with a defensive upgrade.
By targeting teams that have fallen to the bottom of the standings early this season like Montreal, Arizona and Vancouver, the Islanders would have several worthy defensemen to pursue.
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Jason Demers, a 29-year-old right-handed defenseman on the Arizona Coyotes, could be a good fit for the New York Islanders blue line. With an impressive career CF% of 51.7, Demers’ possession numbers makes him valuable to an Islanders team having difficulty in their own zone.
Demers also qualifies as a more offensive-minded defenseman, if not a moderately inconsistent one, earning a total of over 20 points in multiple seasons in his career, once reaching 34.
Making only 4.5 million a year until 2021, this addition wouldn’t put the Islanders into a cap space nightmare, especially when potentially dropping the contracts of several players like Jason Chimera, Thomas Hickey and Dennis Seidenberg at the end of this season.
For Demers, it would make sense to package Brock Nelson with one of the two second round picks from the Calgary Flames and potentially a third or a fourth as well. This could be appealing to a Coyotes team both in desperate need of scoring and a rebuild.
One of the more underrated defensemen in the league, Chris Tanev of the Vancouver Canucks could also be a positive addition for a New York Islanders team lacking control on their side of the rink.
With a similar career CF% to Demers at 50.9 and a lessened offensive edge, the Islanders could possibly come by Tanev for less- potentially just Brock Nelson and a second round pick. The Canucks, much like the Coyotes, are looking to add offensive power, falling to be 19th overall in scoring.
, Tanev could fill a role that the Islanders’ blue line has been lacking so far in the 2017-2018 season.
The Montreal Canadiens, ranking just 29th in the NHL in scoring to start the season, could also be a destination for Brock Nelson. In return, the Islanders could receive right-handed defenseman Jeff Petry.
Although Petry’s possession numbers may not be as impressive as those of Demers and Tanev, he would be a valuable piece to add to the team’s power play. Since arriving in Montreal, Petry has seen a steady increase in total points earned with a large leap last season after taking over PK Subban’s role on the Canadiens’ man advantage.
For an Islanders team facing a dramatically inconsistent power play, Petry could be of great help on the blue line. While he is earning 5.5 million a year, one million more than both Demers and Tanev, his role on the power play would make him worth it.
With a booming offense to start the season, it is imperative that the New York Islanders improve their blue line and take advantage of what could be a great season. One sure step towards this would be flipping the picks gained for Travis Hamonic and packaging them with goal-scorer, Brock Nelson for a top two defenseman.