Earlier today I wrote that Lou Lamoriello won’t likely move the New York Islanders first-rounder in a trade for the second year in a row. Well, only hours later I have egg on my face after the Isles made a big trade with the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils will also hold 50% of both Palmieri and Zajac’s deal.
New York Islanders add two pieces in one trade
We all know the quality that Kyle Palmieri brings to the side. The right-shot winger is the top-six player the Islanders have been looking to add for a while, even before the injury to Anders Lee.
Palmieri might not be having a great year in 2020-21, but he’s been a consistent 20+ goal scorer for years now. His addition to the roster gives them a two-way forward who can add that offensive element the Isles need to be true contenders.
With Travis Zajac, the Isles get a top-notch pro who’s a solid two-way bottom-six guy. He may no longer be the 60+ point guy he was years ago, but the 35-year-old is having a good year with 18 points in 33 games. That’s a 45 point pace.
Zajac is a strong faceoff man with 53.7% FOW over his career. He probably won’t play center for the Isles, but he’s a good option if they need him to.
If there’s one takeaway from this trade it’s that the New York Islanders are going for it. There’s is no question that they are now laser-focused on a Stanley Cup. For a team that has been largely irrelevant, this is a new feeling that I could gladly get used to.