The New York Islanders have been very active in the trade market so far moving Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd so far. Eventually, Lou Lamoriello is going to get in the driver’s seat to be a buyer whether in the free agency or the trade market.
Vladimir Tarasenko has been a name brought up often with the Isles but there seems to be a new link, Conor Garland. According to David Pagnotta, the Islanders are interested in acquiring the 25-year-old from Arizona.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen a significant improvement from Garland. The 2019-2020 season saw him put up 39 points (22 goals, 17 assists) in 68 games playing just over 14 minutes per night.
Paced out, that’s a 47 point and 27 goal season. This past year, the goal total dropped a little but saw his production per game increase. His ice time went up to 17:55 per night playing on the top line and he had 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 49 games.
Looking at his production on the pace of a full season, he was pacing out to a 65 point and 20 goal season.
Garland was the leader for the Coyotes in average game score with a 0.84 according to Hockey Stat Cards. That would put him third on the Islanders behind Anders Lee and Mat Barzal.
Conor Garland had a 52.4 CF% for Arizona last year and was able to generate a 53.88 HDCF% according to Natural Stat Trick. He’s developed into a solid offensive player in this league finally coming into his own.
His most recent contract just expired leaving him as an RFA and Arizona hasn’t been close on negotiations with him. Would it make sense for Lou to swoop in and steal him?
While Garland is a solid player, I’m not sure he is exactly what the Isles are looking for. At that point, why not just hold on to Jordan Eberle and/or Kyle Palmieri to get you 20-25 goals and 50 points?
If the Isles are going to give up assets let it be for a healthy Vladimir Tarasenko who you can pencil in for 30+ goals no problem. Or if it’s on the free-agent market it let it be Gabriel Landeskog who is one of the best power play guys in the league and a stud defensively.
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I like Garland, I’m just not sure that he’s the kind of guy that puts this team over the top like some of the other players they’ve been linked to.