With Jack Roslovic on the trade market, should the New York Islanders inquire about the Winnipeg Jets 2015 first-round pick?
News broke on Tuesday that Winnipeg Jets RFA Jack Roslovic was not only still in Columbus, rather than on his way to Winnipeg for training camp, but had also asked for a trade. Acquiring the young forward would make little to no sense for the New York Islanders.
Just quickly, before I say why Roslovic wouldn’t be a good fit, just consider his 19-20 season. In 71 games for the Winnipeg Jets, Roslovic scored 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists), averaged 1.6 shots on goal per game, and played just under 15 minutes a night.
I know the Islanders current gap on the roster (outside of a top-line 30-goal winger) is on the third line, but Roslovic isn’t the player to fill that role.
Not a Fit
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, who spoke to Roslovic’s agent Claude Lemieux, Roslovic’s issue with the Winnipeg Jets can be summed up into two points:
- He wants more offensive responsibility
- He wants to play center
In terms of offensive responsibility, there’s no way Roslovic steps onto the Islanders roster and commands more than 15 minutes a night. Last season, Derick Brassard averaged 13:42 playing on the Islanders third line for most of the year a spot Roslovic would likely fill.
We also can’t forget that the Islanders aren’t what you would call an “offense-first team”. They spend a good portion of the game defending. In 19-20, Roslovic started just over 56% of his shift in the offensive zone. Only four players had offensive zone starts of 56% or more for the Isles in 19-20:
Coming to the Island would mean defending first, then you can think about offensive responsibilities.
Then there’s the desire to play center. A position that is covered from line one through to line four. The Islanders spine of Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Casey Cizikas is about as solid as it gets in the NHL. There is absolutely no way that Roslovic finds space there.
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Add all of that and it’s clear the Islanders are not the right fit for Jack Roslovic. Maybe he could fit on the wing, but he’s going to end up with about the same role he had with the Jets but with more defensive responsibilities. The Isles should (and probably will) pass on trading for the 25th overall pick in 2015.