it's clear that Sebastian Aho is a depth defenseman at the NHL level. The New York Islanders blueliner has been the seventh man within the Isles D-core for a while now, but with Scott Mayfield's near-season-ending injury, Aho has stepped up to take that spot.
When Mayfield's injury was announced, Trotz stated that no call-ups from the AHL were going to be made. The Isles would deal with the gap in the lineup internally. That has to change. The Isles need to make a call-up.
New York Islanders need a call up on defense
I know it's only been one game since Mayfield's injury and maybe patience is key here, but it's been more than one game of Sebastian Aho. This is game number 52 of Aho's NHL career, and it's not getting any better.
Aho's turnover that effectively created Sam Gagner's goal during Thursday's 5-2 win over the Red Wings was an all too common sight when it comes to Isles defenseman:
And that just can't happen anymore. Not for a player of Aho's age. At 26, Aho isn't still learning his craft, he should be at his peak. We know what we're getting out of Aho now. It's time to see what others have to offer.
Grant Hutton is ready for the next step in his career. After being brought in as a college free agent, the right-hander is having a solid year with Bridgeport scoring eight goals and 17 points. And while Hutton will turn 27 later this year, we still don't yet know what his potential is at the NHL outside of a five-game stint earlier in the year.
Hutton showed promise in that short cameo when most of the NHL squad was out. What can he do with the team healthy again?
And then of course there's Robin Salo. The 22-year-old isn't having a standout time with Bridgeport. His potential is that of a top-four defenseman. His transition skills stand out with his great north-south skating and strong offensive instincts.
If the Isles are fine with Aho making mistakes why not let Salo make those same mistakes? Again, Aho is at the peak of his game, that isn't the case for Salo who's still got a few more years of growth before reaching his potential.
Both are great options to at least try. I'd rather Salo of the two simply to try and get to his potential sooner rather than later. But again, both are good options. What is clear is that the Isles should at least try one of them going forward.