Should the New York Islanders be in on a trade for Carolina Hurricanes right-handed defenseman Dougie Hamilton?
At face value, the New York Islanders are set on the right side of the defense. With Johnny Boychuk, Ryal Pulock and Scott Mayfield. But what if they could get an upgrade by landing Dougie Hamilton?
According to Elliotte Friedman, it’s possible that Carolina would entertain the possibility of trading the former 18 goal scorer. The Hurricanes are currently seven points back of the Islanders and Sabres who hold the two wildcard spots in the Eastern Conference. They’re set to miss the playoffs for the tenth year in a row.
If the Islanders can find a way to bring in one of the better and young blueliners in the league, they should.
One of the Good Ones
Hamilton is one of the league’s better young defenders. He’s only 25-years-old but can score between 40-50 points a season. The massive 6’6″ 229lbs defender is also an adept goal scorer with the ability to put in 18 goals in a year. And he’s never held a Corsi rater under 54 percent in a season.
Say what you will about Dougie Hamilton’s current production in Carolina (16 points on 44 games) but he’s still a top defender in this league. Andrew Berkshire put up a nice quick breakdown of Hamilton’s play over the last two seasons for the Canes. It shows a blueline that is better than his stats currently show.
Getting in on a divisional rivals top player won’t be easy or come cheap, but it’s possible. Something along the lines of Adam Pelech, Kieffer Bellows, and the Isles first in 2019 could be enough value wise.
I won’t say that this will definitely get a deal done. We’ve all seen GMs like Peter Ciarelly deal Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Or what was effectively Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier for Griffin Reinhart. But to land a top-notch D with term on his contract (three more years) and with a decent cap hit ($5.75 million AAV) this is a good starting place.
We can argue about what prospect/young player gets tossed in. Whether it be Josh Ho-Sang, Kieffer Bellows or even Anthony Beauvillier. But the remainder of the package would stay, a left-handed defenseman and a first-round pick.
New Look Blue Line
The issue then remains on what to do with the now four right-handed shot defensemen the Islanders have.
Pair 1: Leddy-Hamilton
Pair 2: Hickey-Pulock
Pair 3: Toews-Boychuk
Mayfield has been great this season, but looking at this depth chart now he’s clearly the odd man out. Which is fine for this season. Come next season when Johnny Boychuk’s no-move clause turns into a modified no-trade, you have to think the Isles look to move a then 35-year-old Boychuk on a $6 million cap hit.
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I know a right-handed defenseman isn’t at the top of the New York Islanders wish list. Top six forward and a second line center are top of mind. But if you can upgrade any position you do so. Dougie Hamilton is an upgrade for the Islanders.