Islanders: Three Ottawa Senators targets to pursue at trade deadline

The New York Islanders are in win-now mode. With the trade deadline approaching, who should they target from one of the sellers on the market: the Ottawa Senators?

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DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders attends the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders are buyers and the Ottawa Senators are sellers. It's a perfect match. So who should the Isles target on the Senators roster to make a run at the Cup?

The biggest issue facing any trade is that the Ottawa Senators have been here before. They've been at the bottom of the league for a few years now

In 2018-19, the Senators finished dead last in the NHL with 64 points. In 2017-18 they finished 30th with 67 points. And now in 2019-2020, they're yet again near the bottom of the league with 47 points.

With all that time at the bottom of the league, the Senators have already sold off a number of players.

Since 2017, the Ottawa Senators have traded away Derick Brassard, Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Mark Stone. There isn't much left on the roster to pry away at this year's trade deadline.

There's still some quality there that could be pried away from the Sens if the price is right from the New York Islanders.

Here are three players that could bring some quality to the Islanders roster and fill in some gaps they have in their top six and down the middle.

Anthony Duclair

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SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 3: Anthony Duclair #10 of the Ottawa Senators prepares for a face-off against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 3, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. The Senators defeated the Panthers 3-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Stats: 53GP, 21G, 13A, 34Pts

Why target him?

He hasn't always been a desirable asset. He's only been in the league six years and he's already played for five teams; Rangers, Coyotes, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, and the Senators. The 2020 trade deadline might just see him moved to a sixth team.

Anthony Duclair is one of 16 players whose contracts are expiring at the end of the season after signing a single year $1.65 million deal with the Senators. That's right, over half of the Senators active roster will be out of a contract at the end of the 2019-20 season.

With that$1.65 million deal in tow, Duclair has scored 21 goals and 34 points with the Sens. He's already having a career-year in terms of goals and is only ten points away from his career-high 44 from 2015-16, his second year in the league.

When he plays with quality players he can produce. Bringing him on could give the Islanders another goal threat. One who doesn't cost very much on the cap to boot. And at 24, he's still an RFA at the end of his deal.

The possibility he's traded: 2/5

If the return is too good there's no way the Senators refuse to move him. But there's also the notion that the Senators are going to need someone around who knows how to turn the lights on next season. They can't have a team full of rookies.

They'll need players who've been there before, and Anthony Duclair has certainly been there before. You have to think that Duclair is on the same page.

He's finally found a place where he can excel. Why would he want to move now and risk it all falling apart?

The Sens could also get him at a reasonable cap hit. Something that will certainly please Owner Eugene Melnyk.

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Tyler Ennis

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MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 20: Tyler Ennis #63 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the Bell Centre on November 20, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Stats: 54GP, 13G, 17A, 30Pts

Why target him?

With 13 goals and 30 points, Tyler Ennis is on pace for 46 points. It would be his first 40+ point season since 2014-15 when he scored 20 goals and 46 points for the Buffalo Sabres.

Ennis can put up goals for teams when he's playing a decent amount of minutes with decent linemates. He could be a valuable depth player for the Islanders top-six that, at times, hasn't been very good.

The cost to bring him in won't be high and he could, under the right circumstances, give the Isles what they are looking for.

The possibility he's traded: 4/5

With an expiring deal, the Senators are certainly going to look to offload Ennis at the deadline. The Senators signed him for an almost league-minimum $800,000 single year deal on July 1. So anything they get for Ennis will be a win for the Senators.

If the Islanders feel like they need depth scoring they could probably send a fourth-round pick to the Senators for a few months of Tyler Ennis.

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Jean-Gabriel Pageau

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SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 3: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the Ottawa Senators looks for a teammate to pass the puck to as he circles behind the Florida Panthers net with the puck at the BB&T Center on March 3, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. The Senators defeated the Panthers 3-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Stats: 52GP, 20G, 13A, 33Pts

Why target him?

The question should be why not target him?

Jean-Gabriel Pageau is absolutely perfect for the New York Islanders. The 27-year-old center plays a full 200-foot gamer at 5on5. He's one of the better penalty killers in the league. He's good on the draw (52.1 faceoff-win percentage over his career). And he's having a career year on the stats sheet.

With 20 goals he's already had a career-year in the goals department. His previous high was 19. He still has 28 games to play.

He checks all the boxes for the Islanders. Which means he checks all the boxes for a number of teams.

The possibility he's traded: 2/5

You'd think that with what Pageau brings to the table and the potential return I'd have his trade possibility higher than two. But there are a few factors that I think will see him stay in Ottawa.

The first is the fact that they'll need a few vets to stick around and make sure the rebuild gets off on the right foot. Pageau is a great player for that role. He's from the area, he likes the team, and he's a great pro. Ottawa will certainly want to keep that around.

The second factor is the cost. How much will it take to land Pageau? A first-round pick and a prospect? That seems like a lot for a player who will be a UFA at the end of the season.

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I think the price for Pageau who is having a career year is going to be too high for most teams including Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders. I'm sure he stays with the Senators to see through this rebuild.