Islanders: Looking At Lou Lamoriello’s Trades Around Draft Time
By Matt O'Leary
Lou Lamoriello isn’t really known too well for making trades around draft time. That’s going to have to change for the Islanders in 2020 if they want a chance to help their cap.
This week is going to be a busy one in the NHL. The draft and free agency both start this week, so we’ve already seen trades and signings begin. Lou Lamoriello is going to have his hands full when it comes to the Islanders cap this year.
The Isles have three important RFA’s to get signed in Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews. Yes, he can get creative to get the cap to work but that would have to be different from what we’ve seen from him over the last few years.
Actually, in 2018 with the Islanders, Lamoriello was sitting on four picks in the first two rounds. Instead of moving them, Lou held tight and drafted Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, Bode Wilde, and Ruslan Iskhakov.
This year, with no picks in the first two rounds, and the need of cap space he’s going to have to do something. But based on his history, that’s unlikely. Here’s a look at every trade that Lou has made at around the draft since the year 2000.
As we see here, Lou isn’t usually active before or around the draft. In the last 10 years, he’s made just five trades around the draft and two of those times were for a starting goalie. The Isles don’t need a goalie, obviously, but can Lou pull something off for a big-time forward?
In the previous decade, Lou was also moving around the draft board. He ended up trading up for Zach Parise and Travis Zajac in back to back drafts in 2003 and 2004.
What’s interesting is that Lou could go one of two ways. He can either use this time to try to acquire assets, as in a top-scorer, or he theoretically could sell off pieces (Nick Leddy) to try to get some kind of draft capital in this draft.
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Based on what we’ve seen from Lou as an Islanders GM and during his time with the Maple Leafs he’s been very slow to make trades, especially during this time of year. Hopefully, that changes this week, I don’t see how it doesn’t, but with Lamoriello in charge you honestly never know which direction he’s going.