The NY Islanders, along with looking for forwards, will likely look to add to their back end this offseason with Scott Mayfield's status as a pending UFA being a question mark and the lack of offense that came from the blue line in the playoffs. We all know GM Lou Lamoriello loves bringing over players he drafted in the past, and his former second-round selection Damon Severson could be one he lures next door.
The future is now for the New Jersey Devils, and the writing is on the wall for Severson and his role with up-and-coming players such as Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec likely getting full-time spots soon, and Dougie Hamilton taking his place as New Jersey's top power play quarterback. The Devils likely won't be able to afford him either, with Severson being projected to make around $6 million on the open market.
Severson provides something that the Islanders need, that being a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman. The Islanders have not had an efficient D-Man that transitions the offense into the opposition's zone ever since they traded Devon Toews to the Colorado Avalanche, and it still stings to this day. If Mayfield tests the open market, this leaves a spot open for Severson on the right side. Mayfield brings a defensively sound, rugged, playoff-style game on the bottom pairing, but the Islanders should be able to replace that with the rest of the team's physicality and commitment to being responsible in their own end, along with having one of the best goaltenders in the world in Ilya Sorokin. Offensively skilled players should be the priority, and Severson would only help a team that finished 31st in the entire league on the power-play.
The power play was so abysmal for the blue and orange last season that fans at UBS wished the Isles rejected penalty calls and stay 5-on-5. Severson has shown that he can play on the power play and be effective, scoring 16 points on the man advantage in 2021-22. The former second-round pick scored 33 points last season without having a power-play role and playing about four fewer minutes per night than he was accustomed to.
It could be a bit pricey, and cap space would need to be made to afford a player such as Severson, but he would provide the Islanders with versatility on the back end by fitting in on pairings with Adam Pelech or Alexander Romanov possibly to his left. If he wants to join a team that is already competitive and could guarantee him an important offensive role, the Island could be one of his best options.