With the way that Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is playing RFA Philipp Grubauer becomes an immediate trade target for the New York Islanders.
The Washington Capitals have four goalies on the roster at the moment. They won’t do the same as the New York Islanders did and keep more than two. That means they have to get rid of a few. It makes sense for the Islanders to be targetting one.
The Capitals have Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer, Ilya Samsonov, and Pheonix Coplay on the roster right now according to Cap Friendly.
Pheonix Coplay could and should be demoted to the AHL. But the trio of Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer, and Ilya Samsonov could all play in the NHL next season.
Samsonov was just signed to a $4.425 million three years ELC on May 3rd, 2018 by the Capitals. With an average 2.22GAA and .931SV% over the past two seasons for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL, there’s no question as to why the Capitals got him signed. But what does that mean for the other two guys?
With Holtby’s heroics in the NHL playoffs, there’s no reason to think he’ll be shipped out by the Capitals any time soon. Hotlby holds a 2.50 GAA and 0.921 SV% through four games in the Stanley Cup finals.
We’ve all forgotten that he wasn’t even the starter at the beginning of the playoffs. So that leaves Philipp Grubauer and his 2.35GAA and .923SV% in 26 games played this season on the outside. And available for the New York Islanders.
His Trade Value
Being an RFA the Islanders can’t just wait it out and toss him a bunch of money as an unrestricted free agent. They’ll have to trade to get Grubauer from the Capitals.
Rather than make up a trade scenario I figured I’d look to history and see what a surplus starter quality goalie whos also an RFA could fetch in the trade market. And Martin Jones was the most recent example.
In trading him to the San Jose Sharks, the Boston Bruins acquired a first round pick (29th overall) and prospect Sean Kuraly. Kuraly was a former fifth-round pick in 2011 who had 29 points in 40 games for Miami University.
Grubauer is likely going to go for more. Before heading to his ultimate destination in San Jose, Jones had a 2.25GAA and .906 SV% in 15 games for the Kings. Grubauer, in 35 games with the Washington Capitals had a 2.35GAA and .923 SV%.
Aho is a former fifth-round pick for the New York Islanders in the 2017 NHL. The defender already has 22 games played since being drafted and looks to be a solid NHL level player.
Then tack on the Islanders first-round and eleventh overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft and I believe the Capitals are getting fair compensation for losing a starting goalie whos a restricted free agent.
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The issue now, assuming this works, is how much do the Islanders pay their new stater? Greiss is making $3.3 million AAV, anything less won’t fly. Anything between $3.5 to $4.5 million would be a good range for the Grubauer era on Long Island.