New York Islanders Using Draft Picks To Convince John Tavares
The New York Islanders season has come to a close and the big question this off-season is will John Tavares stay or go. The Isles could use their first-round picks to convince the captain to stay.
Saying the New York Islanders are about to embark on a very big off-season is an understatement. Ownership does not want to see John Tavares walk out the door. So much so they could use their upcoming first-round picks as trade chips.
By many accounts, Tavares really likes being the captain of the Islanders. He is high on his teammates (both the veterans & the kids), the building situation is finally resolved, and Long Island is a very nice place to live especially when one does well financially. Also, it’s a little bit easier dealing with the media being on the Islanders versus the Canadiens or the Maple Leafs.
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Having said that Tavares wants the second-half of his career to be about battling for the Stanley Cup. The Isles missing the playoffs for the second straight year is not the kind of scenario JT is looking for.
There is a lot to like regarding the Isles despite this disappointing season. Besides Tavares, they have really good proven players in Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Johnny Boychuk, and Nick Leddy.
This season has been a huge positive for the Islanders kidding core, with the play of Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, and Ryan Pulock. More are knocking on the door as well in Kieffer Bellows and Devon Toews.
The Isles are not far away.
The 1st-Round Picks
Then we get to the draft picks. Thanks to the Travis Hamonic deal and the fact the Calgary Flames missed the playoffs the Isles have a number of premium picks in the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
The blue and orange have both their own and Calgary’s first and second-round selections. These top picks will be very valuable come June.
The Isles could move both first-round selections this off-season in separate deals and acquire a proven goalie and a blueliner. Their second-round picks will carry quite a bit of value as well.
Remember, last June the Arizona Coyotes basically acquired Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta for the seventh overall pick in the 2017 Draft.
If the Isles so choose they could move one or both of these first-round picks, as well as their seconds, to acquire proven talent to help them here and now both in net and on defense.
Next: Isles Sign David Quenneville
Keep in mind if one of the Isles ping-pong balls comes up on the night of the lottery (April 28th) that could change everything. They could then add a young dynamic player that will help them next season or cash in an extremely valuable draft pick, which would be desired by every other NHL club.
The Hamonic deal could very well wind up being the difference maker in terms of keeping Tavares with the Islanders.