With the 2020 NHL Draft in a couple of days, New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello will be looking to make trades by draft night.
As of now, the New York Islanders only have five picks in the 2020 NHL Draft. With their first selection currently slated at the end of the third round, look for Lou Lamoriello to change that by draft night.
The Isles currently do not have any picks in rounds one or two of the coming week’s NHL Draft. Remember, the Isles traded those picks to Ottawa at the trade deadline for J.G. Pageau. Both draft picks winded up being at the bottom of each round because the Islanders got to the Eastern Conference Finals.
That currently leaves the Isles with one selection (their slot) in rounds three through seven. Like to see Lamoriello acquire a couple more picks for this draft.
Lamoriello Trading for Picks
No doubt the Isles’ best trade chip for draft picks is Nick Leddy. Because the Isles need to free up cap space to sign their restricted free agents (Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews) the Isles would look to move a player like Leddy for draft picks and prospects. They do not want any 2020-21 cap contracts in return.
Leddy would be an attractive piece for other NHL clubs. He is an experienced top-four defenseman, he is 29 years of age, and he has a reasonable cap number of $5.5 million. Teams are always looking for defensemen and the Isles should get a lot of interest in him.
The return should be something along the lines of a second-round pick in this year’s draft, another second-rounder in 2021, and a prospect (not a blue-chip prospect).
Another possibility is Ross Johnston. Johnston plays a two-way physical game and can fill a role for many teams in their bottom-six. Johnston is only 26 and is signed the next two years with a $1 million cap hit. Johnston will only get moved if the Isles re-sign Matt Martin. The return for Johnston would probably be a mid-round pick.
Lamoriello is on the case in terms of freeing up cap space and acquiring more picks for this week’s NHL Draft.