Could Pavel Buchnevich be on the NY Islanders radar?

New York Islanders v St Louis Blues
New York Islanders v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The rumor mill has been churning since the Carolina Hurricanes eliminated the NY Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nikolaj Ehlers has been the name most mentioned, with Martin Necas recently coming up after it's been rumored he may be on his way out of Carolina.

One name that was brought up as a possible trade candidate at the deadline but without much chatter of late is Pavel Buchnevich of the St. Louis Blues. It was believed that Blues GM Doug Armstrong wasn't actively shopping his Russian winger in February, but if the right deal arose he may be willing to pull the trigger.

There's no question Lou Lamorilo will be active in trying to acquire a top-line winger to play alongside Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal on the Islanders' top line, and a deal for Buchnevich would plug multiple holes.

Buchnevich is coming off a 63 point (27 G, 36 A) season, and is one year removed from a career-high 1.06 points-per-game in 2022-23 when he finished with 67 points (26 G, 41 A) in 63 games.

Capable of playing all three forward positions, Buchnevich plays on the first power play unit, with 26 of his 63 points last season coming on the man advantage. Despite missing 19 games, Buchnevich still outscored every member of the Islanders on the power play, edging out Barzal (35 points) by one.

Sticking with special teams, Buchnevich also skated on the Blues' second penalty killing unit and would slot right into the Islanders' PK that finished a league-worst 71.5%.

With one more year left on his contract, a 29-year-old Buchnevich has a cap hit of $5.8M. Like any player of significance the Islanders bring in this off-season, there will have to be some roster juggling to become cap-compliant.

With the Blues in a bit of a rebuilding/retooling mode, if the right deal emerges, it's hard to believe they wouldn't let go of Buchnevich, who owns a 12-team no-trade list.

JG Pageau has been the name thrown around most often as a potential Islanders departure and would fit in centering the Blues' third line. However, Pageau may not meet the needs of what Doug Armstrong is trying to build in St. Louis. The Islanders could look to move Pageau elsewhere and use those assets to help acquire a player like Buchnevich.

With four Russian players under contract with the Islanders, Buchnevich would fit right in with the current crop of players and is somewhat familiar with New York having played five seasons for the NY Rangers.

It may not be in the cards for the Islanders to acquire a player of Buchnevich's stature, but he'll surely be a play Lamoriello looks into.