The New York Islanders just don’t have the piece that the Winnipeg Jets are looking for in a trade involving Patrik Laine.
Patrik Laine is easily the most coveted player in the trade market at the moment. The 22-year-old sniper would immediately add 30-40 goals to any team that can meet the Winnipeg Jets asking price. For the New York Islanders, landing the Finnish sniper would immediately solve their desire to put more goals in the back of the net.
But the Jets need for a top-pair defenseman can’t be fulfilled by the Islanders. Meaning a trade for Laine is incredibly unlikely now that Devon Toews has been traded to the Colorado Avalanche for two second-round picks.
To be fair, it’s not like with Toews the Islanders had a clear shot at getting Patrik Laine. But at least the Islanders had a top (ish) defenseman to spare in a trade. Now with Toews gone, the Islanders certainly don’t have one to make the trade work.
Isles Don’t Have That Piece
We’re all told that the Winnipeg Jets want one thing in a trade for Patrik Laine: a top-pair defender. They need a player who can play 25 minutes a night against the opponent’s best players and ideally, this player is right-handed to play alongside Joshua Morrisey.
The Islanders don’t have one of those to spare.
Unless you believe that Noah Dobson is ready to step in for Ryan Pulock and become that top-pair right-handed defenseman in the NHL. Today. I don’t think anyone, including Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz, believes that just yet.
I’m not even sure Lou and Barry would believe that next season when Laine’s bridge deal ($6.75 million AAV) deal comes to an end and Dobson has a played a full year in the NHL.
Laine would be the perfect player for the New York Islanders right now. His 138 goals since 2016-17 rank him seventh in the NHL in goals and his 52 power-play goals in that span are third in the NHL. Again, he would be perfect. But the Islanders just don’t have that main asset Winnipeg wants in a trade.
The Islanders could load a cart full of decent NHL players, prospects, and draft picks but the Jets would know they’re losing out on the deal. They’ll likely wait to get the piece they want I’d imagine.
I know, some of you will likely say: “I’ve said Laine isn’t an option from the beginning”. And you’re right. Getting Laine in trade was always going to be a stretch. But at least with Toews, the Islanders had something of value on the blue line (even if he was a left-shot d-man) they could part with and to perhaps put together a decent trade package. Without him, they no longer have that, admittedly slim, possibility.