New York Islanders Need to Trade Nick Leddy This Off-Season

Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

One of the New York Islanders’ organizational strengths is their blue line. Because of that along with their upcoming salary cap squeeze, as well as the expansion draft down the road, the Islanders need to trade Nick Leddy this off-season.

The New York Islanders are so deep on the blue line that talented youngster Noah Dobson has been a healthy scratch most nights. However, something is going to have to give sooner than later regarding the Isles blue line.

Salary Cap & the Youngsters are Coming

After this season the Islanders will have several key restricted free agents in Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews to re-sign. Fitting all three under the cap will be a tight squeeze for Lou Lamoriello.

Also, Adam Pelech becomes an RFA after next season (2020-21). He will receive a healthy increase from his current $1.6 million cap hit.

Considering those parameters along with Dobson being NHL-ready and top D-men prospects Bode Wilde and Samuel Bolduc being just a couple of years away, trading Nick Leddy this off-season makes all the sense in the world.

Leddy is signed for two more years after this season with a $5.5 million cap hit. Leddy turns 29 this March.

Expansion Draft Not That Far Away

Believe it or not, the expansion draft for the incoming Seattle franchise is not that far away. Once the Isles off-season hits the expansion draft (June 2021) will be just a little over a year away.

With the Isles most likely scenario being they will protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie for the expansion draft, that will leave Leddy exposed.

The Isles will surely protect Pulock, Toews, and Pelech for the expansion draft for Seattle. That will leave Leddy and Scott Mayfield unprotected. Leddy will be thirty years old at the time of the expansion draft with one year remaining on his contract.

Mayfield who is roughly a year and a half younger than Leddy could also be selected. Mayfield at the time of the expansion draft will still have two years left on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $1.45 million.

There is a strong chance the Isles would lose Leddy for nothing come the Seattle expansion draft. Leddy would be enticing for Seattle’s GM Ron Francis because he could flip him right after the expansion draft or the following trade deadline for a combination of draft picks and prospects.

Greiss Will Be Forced Out Due to the Sorokin and the Cap. Next

Leddy should have good value come this off-season. he is having another productive year under Barry Trotz (22 GP, 2 Goals, 11 Points, +5).

Lamoriello could move Leddy for center help or for a future package that gives the Isles more draft capital and adds a top prospect to the cupboard.