The New York Islanders have put together a good roster where its secret sauce is its depth. Their glaring need is to get more skill upfront on the wings. The Isles depth on defense must lead to a trade.
The New York Islanders got eliminated by Carolina because they couldn’t put the puck in the net. The Isles have assets on the blue line to trade and that is something that is always in high demand.
Depth on Defense
The Islanders and Lou Lamoriello are one of the few organizations that have such depth on defense that can move more than one quality defenseman.
The Isles are so deep on the blue line on the main roster that Thomas Hickey is currently the team’s seventh defenseman. This does not include the Bridgeport trio of Sebastian Aho, Mitchell Vande Sompel, and Parker Wotherspoon, and all of them are knocking on the NHL door.
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Over the next couple of years, the top Islander blueliners could Noah Dobson and Bode Wilde. In last months draft, the Isles added to their deep staple of defenseman by drafting Samuel Bolduc (6’4, 210 lbs).
The Isles are well-positioned to move a proven blue liner or one of their pipeline kids on defense.
Noah & Scoring
There are two reasons the Isles need to move a defenseman. Adding scoring is reason number one but also the Isles need to open up a spot for Dobson.
Dobson looks like a future two-way first pairing defenseman. After another incredible year in junior hockey, Dobson is ready to take that next step which is the NHL.
Currently constituted the Isles as mentioned above already have Hickey as the team’s seventh defenseman and that list does not include Dobson.
What becomes tricky is Dobson is a right-handed blueliner. The Isles already have Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Pulock, and Scott Mayfield on the right side. Boychuk is a team leader and has a modified no-trade clause, moving him is unlikely. Pulock will be one of the foundation stones for the Isles over the next few years, so he also isn’t an option.
That leaves Mayfield, who is coming off a really good year and is signed for the next four seasons at a very friendly cap number of $1.45 million annually. Remember one of the reasons why the Islanders got so much in return for Travis Hamonic (1st round pick & two seconds) was because of his cap-friendly number.
There are other possibilities in terms of trading a defenseman such as Nick Leddy. Don’t be surprised if the Isles move more than one defenseman this off-season to attack the organizations needs both in the short and the long term.