If Patrik Laine is on the trade block, what would it take for the Islanders to land the young sniper from the Jets?
If you look on Islanders twitter today, the conversation is trades. No surprise there, as it’s now the offseason and everyone wants the Isles to improve their roster. The hot topic, the fifth player on TSN’s trade bait list, Patrik Laine.
Laine is a stud, the 22-year-old has 138 goals in 305 career games but there are rumors that he isn’t happy in Winnipeg and that they could look to use their surplus at forward to improve other areas of the roster.
He has one more year at a $6.75 million before he has to get paid again as a RFA. To no surprise, he’s a well sought after piece, so I wanted to look at what it would take for the Isles to land a player like Laine.
I used CapFriendly’s armchair GM tool in order to attempt my roster construction. Step 1 was re-signing Ryan Pulock and Mathew Barzal. Barzy received an $8 million AAV and Pulock received a $6.5 million AAV combining for $14.5 million against the cap.
It’s also no secret that the Isles need to clear up space, a trade for Laine can do that while adding to your forward group.
The Jets receive a plug and play top-six player in Jordan Eberle, a controllable RFA top-four d-man in Devon Toews, and the Isles best forward prospect in Oliver Wahlstrom. When looking at the Jets’ roster they have one defenseman signed past 2021, so a top-four d-man would be a welcomed add to the blue line.
Clearly, Eberle isn’t as good as Laine but he’s a second line talent locked in for $1.25 million cheaper next year and we know Laine needs a new deal, so Eberle will likely end up being $3 million cheaper against the cap after next year.
I also moved Johnny Boychuk to Detroit for a late-round pick to clear cap space, moved Andrew Ladd to LTIR, buried Thomas Hickey’s contract, re-signed Andy Greene to a cheap deal, and re-signed RFA Sebastian Aho on the cheap to be the seventh d-man.
It left me with $2 million of cap space to fill out the Bridgeport roster. As for the Islanders lineup, it looked like this:
Lee – Barzal – Laine
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Bellows – Pageau – Dal Colle
Komarov – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Pelech – Pulock
Leddy – Mayfield
Greene – Dobson
Scratches: Koivula, Johnston, Aho.
That’s more than capable of being a well-rounded roster with some extra pop upfront. Unfortunately, Matt Martin isn’t brought back but Leo Komarov and Michael Dal Colle should be fine in the bottom six as JG Pageau and Kieffer Bellows provide the scoring depth.
The Isles desperately need scoring help, especially on the power play, Laine has 52 power-play goals over his four-year career. That’s more than Anders Lee’s career total (52), almost double Brock Nelson’s (27), and nearly five times as much as Anthony Beauvillier (11).
Barry Trotz has a history of working with snipers who were bad in their own end, see Alex Ovechkin, I think if anyone can make it work, he can.
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Laine is the exact kind of player the Islanders need. Acquiring him isn’t an easy or likely thing, but in terms of speculation, it’s going to cost a haul as displayed in my trade proposal. While the cost is high, the return on investment is absolutely worth it.