Going into the season it appeared the Islanders expansion protection list was set with seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender. The three defensemen seemed to be all set with Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, and Scott Mayfield. But things have changed.
Nick Leddy’s play this year has cemented his spot as the third defenseman the Isles must protect for the expansion draft. It was assumed Mayfield would get the nod as he is a year and a half younger, signed for two more years (Leddy is only signed through next season), and holds a much lower cap number ($1.45 million for Mayfield & $5.5 million for Leddy).
Leddy is second on the team in points (25 Points in 37 Games) and has been really strong for the Isles this season. Leddy being protected is all about his play and not a negative against Mayfield.
Two trade scenario’s for New York Islanders before the expansion draft
If Leddy is going to be protected for the Expansion Draft that would mean Mayfield would be exposed. Mayfield would be gobbled up in a New York minute by Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis if exposed.
This means Lamoriello can either make a trade with Seattle and make sure the Isles don’t lose Mayfield to expansion or Lou could move Mayfield to another club before the expansion draft.
The Isles are up against the cap so working out a trade with Seattle where they give up draft capital so Seattle takes someone like Andrew Ladd would kill two birds with one stone. The downside to this is the Islanders just gave up significant draft picks last year to acquire J.G Pageau.
The other possibility is Lamoriello moves Mayfield to another club. Because the Isles are up against the cap and Mayfield’s low cap number ($1.45 million) the Isles would most likely be looking at a deal where they netted draft picks and or prospects. Lamoriello could also look to do a Mayfield trade where he includes a Leo Komarov ($3 Mil Cap Hit) and to take a lesser package.
The Islanders could also think big in terms of a Mayfield trade by including Anthony Beauvillier for a top-line scoring winger. There are a lot of possibilities for Lamoriello and the organization come this off-season.
Anyway, you slice it a major deal is coming for the Islanders this off-season.