New York Islanders Daily: Prospect Pool Is Deep Enough To Go For It
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders are in first place heading into the post-All-Star break. They can afford to go for it and they should do just that.
With the Artemi Panarin news that came out the other day, and other trade scenarios heating up as the calendar is set to flip over to February, the talk online is whether or not the New York Islanders should be aggressive this year.
In short, the answer is yes. The Islanders weren’t supposed to be here and you can probably just ride out that narrative, make the playoffs and possibly win a round. That’s the ceiling of staying put, maybe you win a round of the playoffs.
I understand the Islanders weren’t supposed to be here, but things change over time and the goal posts are moved throughout a season. They sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division today, an extremely competitive division.
The Islanders have Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss playing out of their minds in net and the best defense in the league, in terms of goals allowed.
With a top-five prospect pool and four picks in the first two rounds of last year’s draft, the Isles have pieces to spare. As much as I love Josh Ho-Sang, the potential of Kieffer Bellows and even Oliver Wahlstrom if the Isles had to part ways with one of them, a pick and a second-tier prospect to land a big name like Artemi Panarin or Vladimir Tarasenko you do it.
Not every prospect is going to play on your big club, it just won’t happen. For years Islanders fans wanted Garth Snow to go for it, and now that Lou Lamoriello is here and they’re in a position to go for it some fans are shying away from the idea to hang onto prospects.
That’s textbook irony. Don’t hoard prospects. Elevate your ceiling early, and maybe make this magical regular season a chance to be a magical postseason for a change.
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