Islanders-Flyers huge impact of two trades on past, present, and future

Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA Moscow (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images)
Ilya Sorokin #90 of the CSKA Moscow (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images) /

Two trades between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers have had a huge impact on the Isles past, present, and even the future of the team.

As Metropolitan Division rivals there aren’t many trades between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers. Divisional rivals don’t typically make deals for a few obvious reasons. The main one being: “Why help out a rival?”

But the last two trades made between the Islanders and Flyers have finally begun to pay dividends for the Isles.

The two teams haven’t made a deal since March 4, 2014, when the Isles sent defenseman Andrew MacDonald to Philly for a few picks and a prospect. The Isles got Matt Mangene, a third in 2014, and a second in 2015.

Just under nine months earlier the Isles sent Mark Streit to the Flyers for Shane Harper and 2014 fourth.

That’s a second, third, and fourth-round pick pulled from the Flyers in a matter of months in between 2013 and 2014. The Islanders used those assets to find a top-pair defenseman, a top-four defenseman, and a franchise goalie.

Mark Streit Trade

Streit was moved prior to becoming a UFA which is why that price might seem a little low for a defenseman who had 179 points in 286 games with the Islanders.

You never know what you’ll get with a fourth-round pick, but with the 108th pick at the 2014 NHL draft, the Islanders picked defenseman Devon Toews.

With 17 points in 37 games with Quinnipiac, Toews wasn’t a top prospect. He didn’t make the NHL’s Central Scouting’s final ranking for North American skaters. But Toews just kept on progressing throughout his Quinnipiac career and in the AHL, until he finally hit the NHL.

Now, Toews is easily a top-four defenseman with some solid numbers and incredible underlying numbers. He’s the type of player any NHL team wants to have on their blueline. At 26, Toews is going to be a solid blueliner for years.

In this series against the Flyers, Toews will be a big part of the Islanders plan. He’s part of one of the best defensive cores in the league, but he’s also a big part of their offense.

Andrew MacDonald Trade

Just like Streit, MacDonald’s deal was coming to an end prior to the trade on March 4, 2014. He even rebuffed the Isles four-year $16 million offer prior to departing.

In return, the Islanders got Manorville native Matt Mangene, a 2015 second, and 2014 third.

The Islanders never used that second-round pick to draft a player. They used it as part of the package to land Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins seven months later.

Along with defensive partner Nick Leddy, who was acquired on the same day, Boychuk immediately gave a defensively poor Islanders squad a legitimate top-pair blueliner.

Boychuk could be in his regular spot next to Nick Leddy when the Islanders take on the Flyers. But with the way that Andy Greene has played on the Isles third pair, Boychuk may not see the ice for some time.

The Islanders used that 2014 fourth-round pick from the MacDonald trade on a goalie. With the 78th overall pick in 2014, the Isles took Ilya Sorokin.

After years of will he/won’t he, the Islanders finally have Ilya Sorokin under contract. With incredible numbers between the pipes in Russia, Sorokin is finally in North America and he’s wearing an Islanders sweater.

He won’t be playing in this series for the Islanders. But he’ll be wearing orange and blue (not orange and black) for years to come

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So thank you Philadelphia for making those two inter-divisional trades and allowing us to land a former top-pair blueliner in Johnny Boychuk, a top-four defenseman and power-play quarterback in Devon Toews, and more importantly, you allowed us to pick what should be a franchise goalie in Ilya Sorokin.