Islanders: any thought of acquiring Tomas Hertl at trade deadline is off
Tomas Hertl is now out for the season. Where should the New York Islanders turn their attention in the trade market for a top-line player?
Dealing for San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl was one of a few situations where trading away a first-round pick in 2020 made sense for the New York Islanders.
The seven-year NHL veteran was in the middle of yet another good season for the Sharks. Even as the Sharks sit nine points out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference. With 16 goals and 20 assists, he was on pace to hit 59 points. But on Thursday, Hertl was scratched for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and MCL.
Any possibility of a trade is now dead until the 2020 draft at the earliest.
The injury to Hertl took place in a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canuks on Wednesday night. Just two minutes after Hertl scored to make it 1-0 for the Sharks he was in on goal once again (from an incredible feed by Erik Karlsson). That’s when Chris Tanev came sliding in and the two went into the boards awkwardly.
Hertl wouldn’t return, and on Thursday we found out why.
We know that the San Jose Sharks wanted to get back into the first round of the 2020 draft and only have a few assets that would warrant a team, like the New York Islanders, to pay a first-round pick for.
Tomas Hertl was one of those players. The 26-year-old former 74 point player is under contract for another two years at a reasonable $5.625 million cap hit. And now he’s out for the season.
This means that if the Islanders had any hope of bringing in Hertl at the trade deadline, they now need to look elsewhere for a top-line player.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many out there on the trade market.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau out in Ottawa is playing top-line minutes. But if he’s brought in it will be to play on the third-line.
Tyler Toffoli is a top-six player in the league, but he isn’t the same caliber of player that Tomas Hertl is.
Jason Zucker out in Minnesota is perhaps the best option rumored to be available at the deadline. Zucker had 64 points just two years ago and has scored a minimum of 21 goals and 42 points across the last three previous seasons. With 14 goals and 28 points in 40 games this season, he’s on pace to make that four years in a row.
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Minnesota is only five points out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference with two games in hand. They aren’t likely in a sell-now mode just yet.
But as the days leading up to the deadline tick away, Bill Guerin will have to make a decision and if the Wild aren’t any closer Zucker, who was almost traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins (subscription required) for Phil Kessel, could be finally on the move to the Metropolitan Division.