New York Islanders: An In-Depth Look At Renting Out Pending UFAs
We’ll use last year’s Tomas Tatar trade as the guide for forwards with similar age and overall statistics (Tatar, 469 games, 133 goals, 259 points, .55 points per game, 27 years old at time of trade vs Nelson, 438 games, 112 goals, 214 points, .49 points per game, 27 years old), but since that was widely considered a fleecing of the Golden Knights we’ll make some adjustments.
Tatar fetched a first round pick, a second round pick the following year and a third rounder the year after.
It’s not a perfect comparison because Tatar wasn’t intended to be a rental (though he was moved in the offseason).
The main difference is that Tatar had several years left on a contract where Nelson will be a UFA, but Tatar’s contract was also generally considered overpriced, so it’s not as wide a margin as you may think.
You also can’t discount the solid year that Nelson is having leading up to his UFA status, but Tatar is likely considered the better player amongst most insiders and front offices and he wasn’t a pending UFA, so we can remove the first rounder from the equation.
But do you do it?
It may not be a popular opinion, but if the haul is a 2nd and a 3rd rounder I think you hold onto Nelson.
The Isles lack center depth, and unless they lose 10 of their next 15 games, the Isles are in the thick of things for the playoffs. If they can match the Tatar deal then yes, but if not, you hold onto Nelson and hope he can continue his solid play.
It may be hard to consider all the factors here, but the idea would be to rent out a player for assets, bring back that player in the offseason and have the benefit of both moving into next season and beyond.
If the Isles keep up the pace I think Lou has a hard time doing any deals to break up the team, but it’s something to consider after last year’s Garth Snow mistake (in hindsight) of not dealing Tavares for major assets.