It’s clear, the New York Islanders need a top-six forward. They don’t have many great internal options to chose from, a trade is the best course of action.
First, it was Michael Dal Colle, then it was Tom Kuhnhackl, and on Saturday night it was Cal Clutterbuck‘s turn in the New York Islanders top six. The parade of bottom-six players to suit up next to Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey is already on its third body. All three have failed to produce positive results.
It’s clear that the Islanders need a winger to play on that second line. All three of the options they’ve tried just haven’t worked yet.
So now what?
The Islanders can turn to internal options. They could call up one of their promising wingers down in Bridgeport. Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows are looking particularly strong at the moment. Otto Koivula could be another option (assuming he’s healthy that is).
But none of them are sure things. They are all relatively young and would all be making their NHL debut. With that comes a steep adjustment to the speed of the game. So while they might all be promising players, neither would likely have an immediate and sustained impact for the Isles.
That leaves the Islanders with the trade market to get a player that can help them now. What teams should the Islanders call to kick the tires on a possible trade?
Los Angeles Kings
It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Kings want to get younger. The Islanders have a number of prospects or picks that they can give up to entice the Kings to part with a winger.
Winger Tyler Toffoli, who has four points in four games, and who is in the final year of his contract is an interesting trade target for the Islanders. Yes, he scored 34 points last season but has scored more than 45 points on three occasions now. Put him with talented players and he should provide the production the Islanders are looking for.
The Winnipeg Jets clearly need defensemen. After trading Jacob Trouba to the Rangers, letting Tyler Myers walk in free agency, and Dustin Byfuglien still unsure if he wants to play in the NHL, they don’t have a single defenseman that was in their top eight in minutes played last year.
Package one with a pick and a prospect and that could get a deal going for winger Nikolaj Ehlers.
The Blackhawks always seem ready to make a trade. They’ve so far started the season 0-2-1 and still find themselves right up against the cap. They have $679,609 in cap space according to CapFriendly.
I wonder what it would take to see if 26-year-old Brandon Saad can be had. The Blackhawks have a shortage of right-handed defensemen with Brent Seabrook and Connor Murphy as the only right-handed blueliners on the roster.
The Blackhawks also seem like the type of savvy organization that would take the chance on a guy like Josh Ho-Sang. Packaging him with Scott Mayfield and an early-round pick is a good starting point.
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The New York Islanders need a top-six winger to improve their roster. The best way to do that is going to be in the trade market. These three teams are a good place to start calling in my opinion. Do you have another team in mind?