On Tuesday, the NY Islanders traded for forward Pierre Engvall, acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2024 third-round draft pick. Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello has made it clear he's a buyer heading into Friday's trade deadline despite the injury-depleted roster. The Islanders have collected points in three of their last five games and even in the games they lost, the team on the ice played well which likely convinced the Isles GM that with a little help, they could maintain their playoff position, currently sitting in the first Wild Card spot. On Wednesday, the Islanders reassigned Arnaud Durandeau, Simon Holmstrom, and Otto Koivula to the Bridgeport Islanders, a move that some suspect could have to do with the trade deadline coming this Friday.
According to Stefen Rosner of NYIHockeyNow, the Islanders reassigning the three forwards to the American Hockey League will accrue them a total deadline cap space is of $7.816M. That's enough room to make a significant addition on to the Islanders that could help propell them for their playoff run.
One of the reassignments is to make room for Engvall on the roster. It wouldn't come as a surprise to see Koivula remain in Bridgeport while Holmstrom and Durandeau return to the NHL roster. The latter of the trio has made quite the impact despite going pointless, showing the speed and skill the Islanders have been lacking, especially since Mathew Barzal and J.G. Pageau has gone down with an injury.
There's a belief that the Islanders could use a puck-moving defenseman on the blue line. Some available names via the Anaheim Ducks are John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov. The latter of the two isn't much of a puck mover, but he could be a solid partner for Noah Dobson, opening up more ice for the 22-year-old defenseman to move the puck more. Klingberg on the other hand can do that himself and has a history of being quite the point collector. He hasn't lit the lamp much in Anaheim, but to be fair, neither have the rest of the Ducks.
Tyson Barrie is another name that could possibly be available, especially now that Barry Trotz is in the management picture in Nashville. Barrie was part of the return for Mattias Ekholm. Nashville is seemingly stripping down the roster, and the Predators could get something in return for Barrie as well.
There is also the possibility that Lamoriello does something completely out of left field in true Lamoriello fashion. Regardless, the demotion of the three Islander prospects to accrue more cap space seems like a sign that there's more moves to come. Now we wait.