Islanders trade deadline impacts on expansion draft

Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders made a big trade last week with the New Jersey Devils in acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. This trade deadline deal has an impact on the Islanders regarding expansion.

To acquire Palmieri and Zajac from the Devils, New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello had to surrender his first-round pick this summer for the 2021 NHL Draft. That first-round pick could have been used in a trade this summer with the Seattle Kraken with the Expansion Draft looming.

Trade deadline impact on Seattle Expansion draft for New York Islanders

The Islanders have two issues come this summer. The first being they have four defensemen they want to protect for the Expansion Draft. However, in the seven forwards – three defensemen – one goaltender format, one of the Isles top blueliners will be left without a musical chair.

The other issue is how tight the Islanders are against the cap. Remember this summer, Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech, and Ilya Sorokin are restricted free agents and will receive significant raises. Also, Casey Cizikas is an unrestricted free agent and the Islanders do not want to lose him either.

One possibility was to work out a trade with Seattle and have them take Andrew Ladd in expansion and ship draft capital to the Emerald City along with him. However, that draft capital would be expensive, probably talking a first and second-round draft pick.

Now the Islanders’ first-round pick in this summer’s draft is gone. The Islanders could send Seattle, Ladd, and a first and second-round draft pick in 2022 (next year’s Draft). But if they did something along those lines that would be three years in a row the Islanders would not have a first-round pick. That has an impact on one’s prospect pool.

Find Another Way

The Isles situation with their four defensemen (Ryan Pulock, Pelech, Nick Leddy, and Scott Mayfield) will force them into a significant off-season trade with either Seattle or another club.

Lamoriello could find a creative way to make a deal with Seattle that protects his defensemen and moves a cap salary without surrendering a future first-round pick.

The Isles do have two second-round picks in 2022 (Devon Toews trade) and they have some attractive youngsters in Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula, and Bode Wilde.

Can Lamoriello package a future second-round pick, a youngster or two along with a cap contract such as Leo Komarov or Thomas Hickey to Seattle? That would check off a lot of off-season boxes.

Next. Isles Lamoriello Smart to Swing for the Fences

A lot of important hockey is ahead for the Isles but the trade deadline deal with the Devils has added a wrinkle to the Isles expansion situation.