To improve their team the New York Islanders will have to make a move in the trade market this offseason. Here are the five assets they could look to move.
The New York Islanders need to fix their top six forwards for the 2019-20 season. With 223 goals for last season, ranking them 22nd in the NHL, the Islanders one weakness was goal scoring. They got the defense down path. And they got the goaltending they needed. They just couldn’t get the puck in the net.
Barry Trotz made it quite clear that the team needed to beef up the top end of their forward group going into the 2019-2020 NHL season.
Getting it isn’t going to be easy. Teams don’t ship out top-tier players out every day. The Islanders are going to have to give if they’re going to get. Looking at their roster, they have a number of assets they can move to facilitate a trade and not be affected negatively.
Nick Leddy | D
With Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, and Devon Toews all establishing themselves on the New York Islanders blue line, Nick Leddy has dropped in the Islanders defensive depth chart both at 5on5 and on the power play. Making Leddy a prime trade chip.
He’s still a good defender and could be a top pair guy on the right team (looking at you Edmonton). He has a relatively low $5.5 million cap hit over the next three seasons for the role he could fill.
The Islanders can still get a great return for Nick Leddy. There are a number of teams looking for a defenseman that can headman the puck out of the zone and transition defense into offense. The Islanders have great depth on the blue line and should take advantage of it in the trade market.
Anthony Beauvillier | LW, C
He’s young, he has talent and potential. He just hasn’t lived up to expectations in his three seasons with the Islanders. The former first-round pick in 2015 started off slowly again this season. He ended with 28 points on the year, a regression from the 36 he put up in 2017-18. Maybe a new team can get the best out of Beauvillier.
Barry Trotz struggled to get the best out of Beauvillier this season. He tried paring him with Barzal, hoping to recreate his production rate from the end of 2017-18. It didn’t work. Trotz then paired Beau with Filppula and Komarov, hoping the vets could coax something out of Beau. They did, but it didn’t last longer than a few games.
Other teams will take a chance on Beauvillier. In the right situation, he could be a 60 point player in the NHL. We saw him produce at that rate at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Michael Dal Colle/Josh Ho-Sang | LW/RW
Unlike Ho-Sang, the Islanders certainly like Dal Colle’s game. They’ve played him a few times this season. He didn’t produce much, but they liked what he was offering them. But if Beauvillier stays on the team there isn’t room for Dal Colle you’d have to think. He’s a former fifth overall pick, there’s clearly a good hockey player there in Dal Colle. A team will certainly think they can bring that out of him.
Who knows how the Islanders feel about Josh Ho-Sang, or how Ho-Sang feels about the Islanders. The relationship between the two seems broken beyond repair. It would be remarkable if Ho-Sang was here next season.
In 53 NHL games, he’s scored 24 points. He put up 43 points in 56 AHL games this season. He’s ready for the NHL, the Islanders just don’t seem ready for him.
Neither Dal Colle or Ho-Sang will return much on their own, but they can be valuable pieces of a trade package.
Sebastian Aho | D
Sebastian Aho is ready for the NHL, but he might not have a place on the roster next season. He had 46 points in 67 AHL games this season.
In his short NHL cameo at the end of the 2017-18 season, Aho looked like he could take the step up into the NHL this season. That didn’t materialize with a blue line already crowded with better young talent.
The Islanders have a number of promising defensive prospects, they could afford to lose Aho without taking a step back.
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2019 First Round Pick | 23rd Overall
The Islanders could use this pick to draft a center that could make the team in a few years from now. The center position is the one weakness in their prospect pool.
Or they could package it with other pieces to bring in a player they could insert into the roster this season. They don’t necessarily need the pick. They got essentially three first-rounders in last years draft with Bode Wilde falling to them with the 41st overall pick.