The New York Islanders have a number of major off-season items ahead of them. The fact that the Isles and the Seattle Kraken are a perfect match for an expansion draft trade could help them on all off-season dilemmas.
Looking ahead to the off-season the New York Islanders have to worry about getting under the salary cap (staying flat for next season at $81.5 million). The Isles have to sign Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech, Ilya Sorkin to long-term deals as well as unrestricted free agent Casey Cizikas. And then there is the expansion draft to worry about.
New York Islanders: Trading Partner with the Kraken
If Lou Lamoriello can clear cap space it can solve a lot of off-season issues for the blue and orange. That’s where the Kraken and their GM Ron Francis could become a trade partner.
With Johnny Boychuk’s $6 million LTIR situation (next season last year of his contract), the Isles will have a little over $8 million in cap space according to Cap Friendly. Beauvillier, Pelech, Sorkin, Kieffer Bellows and, Michael Dal Colle are RFA’s while Cizikas is a UFA.
Lamoriello would love to move the 35-year old Andrew Ladd and his $5.5 million dollar cap hit for the next two years. Seattle would love to add major draft capital as they start-up as the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
In addition, Seattle can draft defenseman Sebastian Aho.
Trading Ladd would give the Isles a little over $13.5 million in cap space and that includes keeping Thomas Hickey ($2.5 million) and Leo Komarov ($3 million). Have to think the Isles’ interest in such a trade would be very strong.
Seattle has to get to the cap floor and the early projections of the expansion draft will not leave them with a roster similar to the Vegas Golden Knights inaugural season. Many things went Vegas’s way including Marc-Andre Fleury being available and a number of teams willing to give up two good players (instead of one) to protect others. Most likely it will be very different this time around for Seattle.
Landing a first-round pick in this year’s draft as well as a second the following year will be two major assets for this young franchise to build on. Taking on Ladd’s contract will not inhibit them and could land them two core players for years to come.
The only down-side for the Isles is they are trading more draft capital. Remember they dealt away last year’s first and second-round picks to acquire J.G Pageau (tremendous trade) and this year’s second-round pick to bring over Andy Greene from New Jersey.
The Isles would still have picks in rounds two through seven in this year’s draft and a full set of picks in 2022 (because of Devon Toews trade) even if they made this Ladd trade with Seattle.
Trading Ladd in an expansion deal will cost a hefty price for the Islanders but it’s one they should aggressively pursue.