The New York Islanders have a new need this offseason after moving on from Nick Leddy. A hole has opened up on the left side of the defense now that Leddy’s in Detroit and there’s a few ways this team could go.
There’s the internal route, which is risky, and going with one of the youngsters in Sebastian Aho, Samuel Bolduc or Robin Salo. They’re just an unknown as Aho is the only one with NHL experience, and it’s extremely limited.
They could go the veteran route, and try to add Ryan Suter, Mike Reilly, or Alec Martinez. But what’s the ceiling on those players? What about trading with the Seattle Kraken?
Seattle has an excess of defensemen, especially on the left side. Mark Giordano and Jamie Oleksiak are locks on the left side but they also have Carson Soucy, Haydn Fleury, Kurtis MacDermid, Jeremy Lauzon, Vince Dunn, and Dennis Cholowski too.
Would they be willing to move RFA Vince Dunn for a pick, a prospect, and more?
In this deal, the Kraken receive another second-rounder in this year’s draft, a promising prospect in Kieffer Bellows and Leo Komarov. Why would they take Leo you might ask? Well, they currently have $30.7 million in cap space and trail the cap floor by $9.4 million according to CapFriendly.
They could use the forward depth and could flip him to a contender at the deadline for more draft capital in 2022. As for the Isles, they get someone they can plug on their second pair, who is controllable as an RFA.
At just 24 years old, he already has a ton of NHL experience. He won the cup with St. Louis back in 2018-2019 putting up 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) that year getting just 17:32 of ice time per night.
This past year his ice time went up to 19:15 and he had 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in 43 games. Paced out over a full 82 game season that’s a pace of 38 points and 11 goals. That’s exactly what the Islanders need.
His advanced numbers on offense weren’t great, seemingly an outlier, but he improved dramatically defensively.
Dunn was making $1.875 million against the cap. He’d definitely require a bump in salary and a much nicer-looking contract. Maybe something like a four-year $13 million deal ($3.25 million AAV) which would keep him under contract through his age 28 season and allow him to cash in again at 29.
Just the trade, and moving Johnny Boychuk to LTIR, would leave the Islanders with $23.4 million to work with. Figure $14.5 million for Anthony Beauvillier, Casey Cizikas, Adam Pelech, and Ilya Sorokin leaves the Islanders with $8.9 million to play with.
Adding a Zach Parise for $750,000 (with incentives, like an Andy Greene type 35+ deal) leaves $8.2 million for the Islanders to add another winger. Maybe it’s Gabriel Landeskog in free agency or a familiar face in Kyle Palmieri.
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The point? The Isles have options to get creative and potentially create cap space for the team while improving. Seattle seems like a great trade partner, and adding a player like Dunn to this d-core would be gigantic.