Contrary to the history of the trade deadline in the Lou Lamoriello era, the NY Islanders General Manager got the ball rolling this year when he acquired Bo Horvat on January 30th in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, and a top-12 protected first-round draft pick. Following the acquisition, Lamoriello had four-plus weeks to evaluate his team in order to see if the Islanders were going to be buyers or if they were going to be sellers. The Islanders collected enough points in that time to remain in the playoff race as they're neck-and-neck with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the two wild-card spots up for grabs, with plenty of teams knocking on the door.
Since acquiring Horvat, the Islanders have accrued a 6-3-3 record, collecting 15 of a possible 24 points which were enough to convince Lamoriello that the Islanders could use a little extra help, determining himself as a buyer rather than selling his pending unrestricted free agents and recouping assets. As a result, the Islanders acquired Pierre Engvall from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick.
Horvat has worked out extremely well for the Islanders. He's serving as the Isles top-line center and typically plays with Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee. Barzal has been sidelined with injury, however, Horvat is still producing and the Islanders are staying afloat thanks to his presence in the lineup. In 12 games since arriving on Long Island, Horvat has totaled five goals and three assists for eight points.
Engvall has yet to suit up for the Islanders, but his anticipated debut will come against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Engvall has been seen at morning skate in Barzal's place on the right wing. His profile shows that he brings similar skating ability to Barzal, so you can deduce how Head Coach Lane Lambert determined his likely temporary lineup spot. Regardless, Engvall is a solid bottom-six option for the Islanders upon the return of Barzal (and J.G. Pageau) that should strengthen the Islanders' lineup once fully healthy.
The Islanders didn't make any moves on Friday, trade deadline day. Horvat signed an eight-year, $68 million extension following his acquisition, inked to the Islanders until 2031.