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Islanders Rumors

Islanders trade rumors and interest level: Laine, Penguins, Virtanen

Patrick Laine #29 of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Patrick Laine #29 of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 27: Jake Virtanen #18 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action against the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Arena on January 27, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 27: Jake Virtanen #18 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action against the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Arena on January 27, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Jake Virtanen | Vancouver Canucks

Former first-round pick Jake Virtanen is said to be available in the trade market with the Canucks in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

Virtanen was selected with the sixth overall pick in 2014 (one pick after Michael Dal Colle). Since that draft, Virtanen has 96 points in 291 games with the Canucks. His best year was last year with 36 points in 69 games, a pace of 43 over a full 82 game season.

Virtanen has been available for a while now, but the fact that he’s been a healthy scratch of late is bringing back up the likelihood of a deal.

Interest level: 2.5/5

The Islanders love bringing in depth guys who play a physical game and can provide some offense. Jake Virtanen fits that mold. Over his three previous seasons, he’s averaged 12 to 15 minutes of ice-time with the majority of his shifts starting in the defensive zone. He’s scored 43 goals over those three seasons.

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Possibility of a trade: 1/5

The right-shot forward carries a $2.5 million cap hit this year and next. That’s just too pricey for the Islanders unless they can offload one of their bloated contracts. If the Canucks are interested in guys like Leo Komarov or Thomas Hickey a deal could be worked out.

That seems unlikely though. Lou Lamoriello has been trying to move both for some time now and there haven’t been any takers.

And it’s not as if Jake Virtanen is valuable enough for the Islanders to try to sweeten the pot in order to move him south of the border.

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