Nikolaj Ehlers | Winnipeg Jets
2019-20 Stats: 25G, 33A, 58pts
Why go after Ehlers?
Ehlers has been in the league five years and has put up three (ish) 60 point seasons. This season should have been his third 60 point year. His 58 points in 71 games put him on pace for a 67 point season. Like, Laine, that would have been a career year.
The shifty winger would do well lining up next to Mathew Barzal on the Islanders top line that his current linemate. Anders Lee is a good player, but he’s not exactly a good complimentary player for the Isles speedy center.
Ehlers would also give the Isles another option to lug the puck up the ice aside from Barzal.
Add those nearly guaranteed 60 points Ehlers scores and he’d be a great addition to the Islanders lineup. With a $6 million cap hit through the next five years, Ehlers has some great cost certainty.
Why it won’t work?
Cost certainty has value in any year, let alone in the flat cap era we find ourselves in now. Just like Laine, the package the Islanders would have to send over to the Winnipeg Jets for Ehlers services would have to be considerable.
I flip-flop between Laine and Ehlers. Both are players the Islanders should be looking to acquire but both bring very different styles to the table. Laine as a pure sniper seems perfect, but Ehlers as a goal-scorer and playmaker as well as a good complimentary player for Barzal seems just as perfect.