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New York Islanders Third Line Center Free Agent Options

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO,ON – DECEMBER 19: Derek Ryan #7 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 19, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Hurricanes 8-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO,ON – DECEMBER 19: Derek Ryan #7 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 19, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Hurricanes 8-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Derek Ryan | Carolina Hurricanes

Never heard of him? Nor did I until I started combing through Cap Friendly’s unrestricted free agent list. That’s when I saw Derek Ryan’s name.

A 31-year-old center with 38 points in 79 games. And making a low $1.425 million on the Carolina Hurricanes cap in 2017-18. That last part is the important part.

With the amount of money that the New York Islanders put towards Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck, they could use some cost certainty in the roster.

Derek Ryan and all of his qualities would represent that.

At 31 he’s still got a few years left in him before age becomes a factor into his production. His possession metrics are great with a 57.1 percent Corsi-for last season. And his skills in the faceoff dot – at 56.5 percent – should please most Islanders fans.

Slot him on a line with Kieffer Bellows and Andrew Ladd and the New York Islanders third line will be instantly rejuvenated.

With Bellows, the Islanders have a pure shooter, and with Ladd and Ryan, they have two players that are possession heavy. They’ll find ways to get Bellows room to operate and find ways to get him the puck.

And again, best of all they can pay Derek Ryan less than they would likely have to pay Brock Nelson in 2018-19. Nelson already earns $3.3 million on the cap. You’d expect him to get a bump to somewhere between $3.5 and 4 million

Potential Contract: Three-Years, $9 million ($3 million AAV)

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Next: 10 Step Plan To Fix The Islanders

Brock Nelson is a great trade chip as part of a package for a starting goalie or a top-four defender. Should he go, the New York Islanders can look to these three unrestricted free agents to fill in capably.

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