If the Calgary Flames are looking to trade Johnny Gaudreau, the New York Islanders have to be all in. He’s that good.
The New York Islanders desperately need more quality up top. Their top-six isn’t good enough as currently constructed. They need another top-six winger. They’ve needed one for two years now but GM Lou Lamoriello hasn’t been able to bring in a top-six winger just yet.
Sure, the Islanders have talented forward prospects like Kieffer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom. But we still don’t know what either of them will be at the NHL level. They seem to have all the skills needed to become top-six players in the NHL, but that’s, at best, a guess. And even then, it’s going to be a few years before they can become that top-six player.
The Islanders need top-six support now. And
, Calgary Flames winger
could hit the trade market.
Go All In
Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen wrote on Tuesday that the Calgary Flames could place Johnny Gaudreau on the trade block if they “disappoint in the playoffs again”.
Johnny Gaudreau has been in the league since 2014-15 after being drafted 104th overall in 2011. Since hitting the league full-time, the smaller than average, NHL winger has compiled 151 goals and 445 points in 464 games.
Just last season Gaudreau scored 36 goals and 99 points for his best year yet in the NHL and finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting.
His speed and shiftiness create space for his teammates but it also terrorizes defenders who are constantly being forced into taking penalties on Gaudreau.
Over the last three seasons, Johnny Gaudreau ranks sixth in the entire NHL when it comes to drawing penalties at 5on5 with 67. Mathew Barzal is eighth with 65 penalties drawn. Johnny Hockey also rarely goes to the box. His +52 5on5 penalty differential is the best in the league since 2017-18.
Johnny Gaudreau isn’t just a top-six player. He’s a top-tier player that could totally change the New York Islanders offense.
If he’s made available on the trade market by the Calgary Flames, the New York Islanders need to go all in.
By all-in I mean there’s virtually no one I wouldn’t be willing to trade in a package – that would include a roster player, an A-level prospect, and a high draft pick – to bring Johnny Gaudreau to the Island. That includes Oliver Wahlstrom or Ilya Sorokin.
I know giving up either prospect would be a huge price to pay when you consider that Johnny Gaudreau will hit free agency in two years, but I’d take the gamble that the Islanders could re-sign him and avoid another free-agency heartbreak.
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Guys like Johnny Gaudreau are rare in the league. So when one hits the market, whether that be the free agency market or trade market, the Islanders need to do what it takes to bring them in. Adding Johnny Gaudreau to this roster could push the New York Islanders from a Stanley Cup hopeful to a Stanley Cup contender.