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New York Islanders: Three Budget-Friendly Trade Ideas At Each Position

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center on January 7, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Devils 5-4 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center on January 7, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Devils 5-4 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 10: Anton Khudobin
TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 10: Anton Khudobin

New York Islanders Budget-Friendly Trade Targets – Goaltenders

Even though the New York Islanders have a few goaltending prospects coming through the pipeline, it never hurts to add an obvious upgrade.

Anton Khudobin

Anton Khudobin of the Boston Bruins has been a dependable backup to Tuukka Rask and its high time an NHL team gives him the opportunity he’s rightfully earned. That’s to be a starting NHL netminder.

Khudobin has great numbers this season. In 12 starts, he’s gone 9-2-1 with a 2.37 GAA and a .925 SV%. Those stats dwarf the barely-mediocre numbers Halak and Greiss have put up for the Islanders.

Though it may cost a lot, prying Khudobin from Boston could prove to be a well-timed floatation device tossed to an over-board Islanders team that sees their ship slowly drifting away from them.

Antti Raanta

Another netminder the New York Islanders should try to acquire before the trade deadline is Antti Raanta from the Arizona Coyotes. Just like Khudobin, Raanta is a front-line goaltender who would be a considerable upgrade to the Isles current goalie situation.

As would be the case with Khudobin, trading for a goalie of Raanta’s caliber would not come on the cheap.  In my proposal, I’ve increased the value of the additional draft pick I gave Boston from a 2019 4th rounder to a 2019 3rd rounder.

If this was deemed unacceptable by Arizona’s front office, I’d be willing to increase that additional pick’s value up to a 2018 2nd rounder. For a quality netminder like Raanta, it’s totally worth it.

Jonathan Bernier

This is another option that may fall out of the scope of “economically efficient” for the New York Islanders. Jonathan Bernier was just honored as an NHL Star Of The Week after a few solid performances over the past seven days. Though he will make $2.75 million this season, an addition like Bernier would be worth the cost.

Though Bernier’s stats aren’t as glamorous as Khudobin or Raanta’s, he has performed capably this season in Colorado. Bernier has played to a 9-7-2 record for poor, but improving, Avalanche team. His 2.88 GAA and .909 SV% would still put him above both options the New York Islanders currently have at goaltender.

Considering Bernier has shown flashes of brilliance from time to time, he hasn’t been the elite netminder that he was supposed to develop into. Maybe this is a case where a change of scenery would be of assistance in Bernier’s struggle to play to his full potential.

Next: Sebastian Aho Needs To Stay In NHL

Any of the above-mentioned trade proposals would provide the New York Islanders with much-needed reinforcements. The Isles can’t expect to qualify for the playoffs if they keep replacing injured, NHL-level players with wet-behind-the-ears players from Bridgeport.

Hopefully, Islanders’ GM Garth Snow has a strategy in place to make the necessary improvements the Isles need to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

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