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New York Islanders: Erik Karlsson Wants to Play in US

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators waits for a puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators waits for a puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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OTTAWA, ON – JANUARY 9: Teammates Thomas Chabot #72 and Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators chat during a stoppage in play in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Canadian Tire Centre on January 9, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON – JANUARY 9: Teammates Thomas Chabot #72 and Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators chat during a stoppage in play in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Canadian Tire Centre on January 9, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Where Would He Fit

Karlsson becomes the Islanders number one defenseman. No questions asked. The pairings would clearly change with the right-handed Karlsson sitting up top on pair number one.

In the hypothetical world where Karlsson comes over, the Islanders blue line could resemble something along these lines:

With Leddy and Karlsson, the Islanders get two great defenders who can move the puck out of the zone. But we know that Karlsson thrives with a player that can get his back when he goes marauding forward. Marc Methot was the perfect cover for Karlsson.

Which makes me think that two guys who like going forward might not work. So there’s a second option.

We’ve seen Adam Pelech play well with Nick Leddy before. I don’t think he’s a first pairing defenseman, but he might be the best option considering who else is available.

After Karlsson, the Islanders can toss out an equally effective pairing with Leddy and Pulock. A pairing that in the absence of Karlsson will be the New York Islanders top pair in 2018-19.

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Next. Three Things To Be Excited for in 2018-19

It’s a fanciful dream to think that Erik Karlsson could come to the New York Islanders. But the Islanders have the assets, they could be contenders with him, and they could have an amazing defensive lineup with him.

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