NY Islanders UFA Target: Vladimir Tarasenko

New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils - Game Two
New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils - Game Two / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Yeah, yeah, yeah... Fans might not want to see this happen now with his recent stint with the Rangers, but Vladimir Tarasenko was always a player that was on the NY Islanders' radar, as he should still be.

It's unlikely that a player of his caliber switches from the bigger market team in New York to the other, but fans were sold on the idea of Johnny Gaudreau choosing the Islanders as his destination last offseason before signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets out of nowhere, so anything is possible. Tarasenko is also much more likely to sign with the Isles than his current teammate Patrick Kane, and the Rangers would have to move mountains to keep both players.

NY Islanders UFA Target: Vladimir Tarasenko

Tarasenko is an extremely similar player to the aforementioned Max Pacioretty possessing one of the best wrist shots in the league, but luckily his injury problems seem to be less of an issue than they used to be. Tarasenko put up 50 points in 69 games this past season between the Rangers and St. Louis Blues, and scored 34 goals and 38 assists for 82 points in 2021-22. Tarasenko has been a force on the power play throughout his entire career but is also an efficient scorer 5-on-5.

This type of addition is a dream come true for Islanders fans. Barzal gets a bonafide finisher with speed to play on his line with Horvat, the power play immediately improves, they can take away talent from the rival Rangers while doing so, and maybe the most underrated aspect about Tarasenko: his experience winning a Stanley Cup. This is the big fish that Lamoriello could reasonably go after this offseason, but like most signings the Isles could make, it would require some wheeling and dealing to make cap space. If he could provide everything mentioned above to this team that has aspirations to get back to the Eastern Conference Final, then any contract he signs would be a bargain.