New York Islanders Cannot Trade Future Core Now
The New York Islanders by all accounts are very active in trade talks. It’s terrific that the Isles are trying to improve the team now. While the Isles should be aggressive they also need to be smart.
Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders are moving on from John Tavares and rightfully so. Lou has added a number of solid players but now everyone would like to see him add a top-four D-man and a center.
The Isles have addressed improving their bottom-six, as well as adding Robin Lehner to man the pipes. Almost all the moves were adding quality players at sound cap numbers. In addition, the Islanders added a number of players with leadership qualities.
Now Lou has his eyes on bigger fish. There are a number of teams looking to make moves on the trade market. Lamoriello has flexibility in terms of trade assets and cap space.
Matt Duchene would be a perfect fit for the blue and orange. Ottawa is in a sell-now mode, and Duchene is on the last year of his contract. By all indications, Carolina and Minnesota seem to be shopping blueliners as well.
The Isles match up well in potential deals with these teams.
As much as everyone wants to see the Isles add a couple of big pieces, at the same time they have to be smart about it. They cannot mortgage the future, nor can they make an over-reaction to the Tavares situation.
A trade must make sense for next season but also moving forward in terms of the big picture.
The Isles cannot trade Kieffer Bellows, nor their 2018 first-round picks Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson. The Isles can move their 2019 first-round selection provided it’s top-five protected.
Bellows looks ready to start his NHL career. He might need a little bit more seasoning in the AHL at the beginning of next season. The 19th overall pick of the 2016 NHL Draft will play a considerable amount for the big club next season, if not the whole season.
Wahlstrom and Dobson will most likely be developing their games elsewhere next year. However, their time is coming very soon, quite possibly as early as the 2019-20 season.
Next: Lamoriello Needed to Calm the Fanbase
Along with Mathew Barzal, Bellows, Wahlstrom, and Dobson will be a big part of the Isles future core. That’s why they cannot be moved. However, Lou has plenty of maneuverability to get the job done and add that center and defenseman.