5 realistic trade deadline targets for the NY Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins v Seattle Kraken
Pittsburgh Penguins v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
2 of 6

A week ago there were questions of whether the NY Islanders would be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, but after rattling off three wins in a row it appears Lou Lamoriello will look to improve his team before Friday's deadline.

The Isles currently sit five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers (with two games in hand) for third place in the Metro Division, and six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (with three games in hand) for the second Wild Card spot. The Islanders have two games before the deadline, playing host to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday before heading to California, taking on the San Jose Sharks on the eve of the deadline.

Since Patrick Roy rotated his lines, the Isles have found another gear. Promoting Kyle MacLean and moving Casey Cizikas and JG Pageau up the depth chart while playing Brock Nelson on the top-line wing, the Isles have room to improve their roster, most notably looking for a scoring winger and potentially another right-handed defenseman,

Names like Jakob Chychrun, Noah Hanifin, and Frank Vatrano have been thrown out there but appear out of the Isles price range with a lack of prospects and pressed against the cap. Here are five realistic players for the Islanders to target before Friday.

Vladamir Tarasenko, RW, Ottawa Senators

A name that has been on the Isles' radar for years, Vladamir Tarasenko appears to be available at the trade line for a second consecutive season. Agreeing to a one-year $5M contract in Ottawa for this season, it was always assumed the Sens would look to move on from the former Stanley Cup Champion if they found themselves out of the playoff race.

This isn't the Tarasenko from his days with the Blues, now 32 years old. With 41 points (17 G, 24 A) through 57 games, Tarasenko could slot in on either of the top two lines, giving Roy flexibility to move Nelson back to his natural role as the second-line center.

Tarasenko made it known last season his desire to play in the New York area, as he was added to the NY Rangers during last year's playoff run, hoping to re-sign in the Big Apple during the off-season. It may not be Manhattan, but Elmont is about as close as he'll get to NYC.

According to Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the asking price for Tarasenko is a second-round pick, with Ottawa willing to eat some of his cap hit. Lamoriello isn't one to trade for rental players, so it'll be interesting to see if he's willing to give up assets for a player on the back nine of his career.

Anthony Duclair, RW, San Jose Sharks

Another "former, future Islander," Anthony Duclair looks to be on his way out of the Shark Tank, with San Jose looking to move whatever they can before the deadline. Duclair played two seasons under Roy in Juniors with the Quebec Remparts, including his draft year in 2013 which saw him go 80th overall to the Rangers.

Duclair's numbers are down this season, scoring 14 goals and adding 9 assists. His 23 points are fifth-best on the Skarks as Mikael Granlund leads the way with just 35 points, and his 14 goals are one off the team lead.

While the scoring hasn't been there this year, Duclair's speed is always a threat. Adding him to the top line alongside Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat would give that top line an even further element of speed on Horvat's wing.

He comes with just a $3M cap hit and is set to be a UFA at the end of the season. It would take at least a second-round pick to acquire Duclair's services, and at 28 years old, he could be someone Lamoriello is willing to extend in the summer.

Jordan Eberle, RW, Seattle Kraken

This time, an actual former Islander, Jordan Eberle could be a player the Isles try to bring back for another playoff run.

Exposed in the Seattle expansion draft, Eberle became the Kraken's prize pick, finishing last season with 63 points (20 G, 43 A), his most since 2014-15 with the Edmonton Oilers.

After winning their first playoff series last season shocking the Colorado Avalanche in seven games, the Kraken have found it difficult to match last year's success, sitting nine points out of a Wild Card spot.

Eberle is in the final year of a 5-year, $5M AAV contract he signed with the Islanders. He has a 16-team, modified no-trade clause, but there's no reason to believe the Islanders would be part of his no-trade teams.

Lamoriello would need some of that cap to be retained by the Kraken to make a deal work, but Eberle has played with most of the current make-up of the Islanders roster and should take less time to mesh with his new teammates than others.

Dominik Kubalik, LW/RW, Ottawa Senators

The Islanders have had scouts watching the Senators on multiple occasions over the past week, and like Tarasenko, Dominik Kubalik could be a player they're taking a look at.

Kubalik's numbers are down from his career averages, totaling only nine goals and four assists this season, but just a year ago he finished with 45 points (20 G, 25 A) playing for the Detroit Red Wings. He'd be someone who could slot in on either wing within the middle six.

Though the numbers aren't there this season, where Kubalik could become an asset for the Islanders is on the second power play unit. With Anders Lee, Pierre Engvall, and JG Pageau currently occupying the forward roles on the second unit, the three-some has just five power play goals on the season, with four scored by Lee. Kubalik could replace Engvall who hasn't been a threat to score while on the man-advantage.

Kubalik is in the final year of his contract, with a $2.5M AAV. He likely wouldn't cost the Islanders much, and they could potentially convince Ottawa to retain some salary, depending on where the Isles sit in terms of their LTIR. He seems to have fallen out of favor in Ottawa and the Sens could be looking to move on from him just to cut costs.

It might not be the high-profile move fans hope for, but Kubalik was a 20-goal scorer just a year ago and could use a change of scenery.

Erik Johnson, D, Buffalo Sabres

This isn't a move that Lamoriello would make unless his hand were forced due to injury. Scott Mayfield remains out of the Islanders lineup for unknown reasons, with no timetable on when he might return. Robert Bortuzzo was brought in to fill in on the right side of the blue line, but his injury remains a question of whether he'll return this season.

Sebastian Aho is currently playing on his off-side alongside Mike Reilly on the third pairing, but the Isles would ideally like a right-handed stick in that position.

Erik Johnson, now 35 years old, is a former Stanley Cup Champion with the Colorado Avalanche, on a one-year $3.5M deal with the Buffalo Sabres. With The Sabres all but guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season, they'll likely look to move the veteran to a contender.

Johnson would be a rental and wouldn't cost much more than a late-round pick. He'd bring in another element of leadership and would be the only player on the roster, aside from Bortuzzo who has hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup.