NY Islanders News

New York Islanders Need to Go All-In on Alex DeBrincat

By Christopher Lizza
Chicago Blackhawks v Florida Panthers
Chicago Blackhawks v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders have been lacking a top goal scorer since John Tavares left for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Isles need a finisher, and presumably one is "available" on the trade market as it's been reported the Chicago Blackhawks are taking calls on forward Alex DeBrincat.

This is not just something the Isles fanbase wants, the Islanders' President & General Manager also believes they need one as well. We know this because a couple of offseasons ago Lamoriello went all-in on Artemi Panarin in free agency, however, Panarin opted to sign with the Rangers despite the Isles pitching a better offer.

The Blackhawks have let teams know that they are willing to listen on trade offers for DeBrincat. Lamoriello should be very aggressive in terms of his trade offer(s) to bring DeBrincat to Long Island.

The Fourth Period has reported not only are the Hawks listening to trade offers for DeBrincat but the Islanders are one of the teams currently with a strong interest.

Opportunity Knocks

Goal scorers like DeBrincat don't become available very often be it through trades or free agency. When that opportunity knocks, Lamoriello not only has to put his best foot forward but has to go above and beyond in order to land the two-time 40-goal scorer. If it's going to take a trade offer of $1.25 on the dollar to bring DeBrincat to the blue and orange then that's what Lamoriello needs to do.

DeBrincat checks a lot of boxes in terms of goal scoring, and their power-play while finally giving Mathew Barzal a finisher giving the Isles a legitimate top line.

DeBrincat at just 24 years of age has already proven himself to be an elite goal scorer. He scored 41 goals last season (78 Points) which was his second 40-goal season and 32 Goals (56 Points) in a shortened 56-game season the year before. He has one year left on his contract with a $6.4 million AAV before becoming a restricted free agent.

What Would It Take?

After trying to retool last summer and going all-in on Seth Jones the Hawks now realize they need to rebuild their roster. Chicago wants young attractive controllable assets for the next number of years in return.

A package of Oliver Wahlstrom, the 13th Overall Pick in the 2022 Draft, Aatu Raty, and let's say a second-round pick in 2023 could very well entice Chicago. Maybe as part of the deal, Chicago can take Josh Bailey to free up further cap space for the Isles.

Wahlstrom is only 22 and is in the final year of his entry-level contract. He has the talent to become a 30-goal scorer in the NHL. The 13th overall pick is an attractive asset, albeit the Isles most valuable one in terms of trade chips. A very good player will be on the board at 13 (maybe Brad Lambert and/or Marco Kasper) and the Hawks currently do not have a first-round pick in this year's draft as a result of the Jones trade.

Raty, a late second-round pick in 2021, has been terrific since being drafted last summer. The Hockey News has the talented center as their 61st best prospect in their Top 100 2022 Future Watch issue. Adding a future second-round pick can only help accelerate the Hawks' rebuilding efforts.

That is a lot to give up but keep in mind that DeBrincat doesn't turn 25 until almost Christmas. The Isles would have a top goal scorer for years to come and he could be the missing piece to get the Islanders over the top. Opportunity knocks and Lamoriello needs to answer.

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