Michel Anderson – Aleksander Barkov
Supremely talented, top tier production, still young, and on a wildly small cap hit (considering the player). Florida Panthers Aleksander Barkov is my clear pick for the New York Islanders to take in this hypothetical playoff draft.
I’m not worried that he’s a center. I trust Barry Trotz to figure out the best allocation of talent to maximize the output of this group. Look what he was able to do with Brock Nelson. There’s no doubt he could figure out what to do with Sasha Barkov and his 96 points this season.
Of those 96 points, 35 are goals, 61 are assists. He has 13 power play goals and 31 power play points. If there’s one thing the New York Islanders weren’t able to do was put up points (they ranked 22nd in goals for) and were terrible on the power play (ranked 30th in PPG).
All of that for a total sum of…wait for it…$5.9 million on the cap. That’s $100,000 less than then the cap hit for either Jordan Eberle or Johnny Boychuk.
Think about that depth down the middle with Aleksander Barkov and Mathew Barzal as a one-two. Wouldn’t that be sublime?
Worst case scenario, move one of them to the wing and the Islanders top-six could look like:
Beauvillier is a left winger sure, but it sure beats putting Tom Kuhnhackl and his two Stanley Cups up there on the second line. With Barkov, the Islanders would be addressing three of their needs in one. They’d create some top tier offense, add some efficiency on the power play, and add some quality into the squad.