3. Speculating About Potential Islanders Trade Targets
This Islanders roster isn’t good enough to win a championship as currently constructed, and it needs additions. That was true before the Lee injury, and it is doubly so now.
All around the league, interest in trades is beginning to spike as we inch closer to the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12. Other contenders are seeking to add to their rosters in an effort to push them over the top, and lesser teams are scratching players with trade value.
Now, I don’t have any sources inside the NHL, and I don’t claim to. This is strictly speculation, but these are two targets I’d like to see the Islanders inquire about.
Kyle Palmieri, a long-time New Jersey Devil, has been a name on many Islanders fans’ lips recently. Palmieri’s 12.99 iFF/60, essentially how many unblocked shot attempts he registers over 60 minutes, is second-best among Devils forwards this season.
He’s shooting at a pretty low 8.8% this season, and his goal-scoring totals have suffered from that, but his offensive play-driving is still on an upward trajectory in 2020-21, according to JFresh Hockey, and that’s on a very underpowered Devils 5v5 offense.
Palmieri’s making $4.650 million in 2020-21, and his contract expires at season’s end, meaning the Islanders could still afford to add more after acquiring him, and it won’t cause management any undue headaches with next season’s flat salary cap
Mike Hoffman was scratched by the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, and there has been speculation about whether or not Hoffman is a bad fit with his new team. According to Evolving-Hockey, Hoffman’s iFF/60 is third-highest among Blues forwards at 10.63. That number would also be third-highest among Islanders forwards if you don’t count the injured Anders Lee.
Hoffman is playing on a one-year, $4 million deal with the Blues, so the Islanders could theoretically afford him, plus another addition to the team, like with Palmieri.
These are just a couple of my picks for an Islanders trade target. They’re cheap, on expiring contracts, bring offense with good shots and high shot attempt totals, and could potentially be available, given what we’ve seen from them and their teams this season.