New York Islanders Nick Leddy Primed for Expansion

Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders with the trade of Devon Toews this week have open the door for Nick Leddy to be in prime position for the upcoming expansion draft.

The New York Islanders and everyone else in the league (except the Vegas Golden Knights who are exempt) have to keep an eye on the Seattle expansion draft that takes place after the 2020-21 season.

Before the Devon Toews trade, the Isles were heading down a path where they would have to choose between him or Scott Mayfield regarding their expansion protection list. With Toews now gone that choice is clear for Lou Lamoriello.

After the upcoming season is over, Mayfield will still have two years left on his deal with a cap number of just $1.45 million. Not only is Mayfield a quality defenseman but he is a capologist dream.

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So the Toews trade opens the door for Nick Leddy to be exposed and selected by the Seattle Kraken.

Leddy the Selection

Lamoriello has to go with the 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, 1 goalie expansion protection format (as opposed to 8 skaters and 1 goalie). The reason being Lou must protect at least five forwards in Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, J.G Pageau, Anthony Beauvillier, and Anders Lee. Lamoriello is not exposing his captain to the expansion draft.

That means Lou can only protect three defensemen. Obviously, the Isles stop pair of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech will be protected. Then it comes down to Mayfield or Leddy (Noah Dobson is exempt from the expansion draft).

Mayfield is almost two years younger than Leddy. Also after this season, Mayfield will still have two years under contract while Leddy will only have one. Finally, as stated above Mayfield’s cap number is just $1.45 million while Leddy’s cap number is $5.5 million.

Mayfield has to be the third Islanders defensemen protected come the expansion draft.

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It’s possible Lamoriello could expose someone like Jordan Eberle as a carrot for Seattle so they take him instead of Leddy. But that will only happen if Eberle has a mediocre year or worse and if that’s the case Seattle would in all likelihood choose Leddy.