Dating back to last season, the NY Islanders could use an upgrade on the left side of the blue line. Sebastian Aho has been the mainstay on the left side of the third defensive pairing, and while he's handled himself well, it's a spot the Isles could upgrade to shore up the defense.
Now that Aho is on IR and will be missing for an undisclosed amount of time, along with Adam Pelech being placed on LTIR, the depth on the left side is thinner than ever. Mike Reilly was claimed off waivers to fill in the void for the time being, but enhancing the position should still be a priority for Lou Lamoriello.
Tomorrow night, the Isles host the league's bottom-dwellers in the San Jose Sharks - a team that will likely be looking to offload assets to build toward the future. Once the puck drops, Lamoriello may have his eye on Mario Ferraro from his press box, as the defenseman will likely have GM Mike Grier's phone ringing from multiple teams before the trade deadline. At 25 years old, Ferraro has two years remaining on his current contract with a cap hit of $3.25M.
Playing as a defensive defenseman, Ferraro entered the league at 21, becoming an integral part of the Sharks defense almost immediately. Outside of his rookie season, Ferraro has averaged over 21 minutes of ice time per game. He has just 57 points across 277 career games and just four this season. While he might not show up on the scoreboard often, he's capable of eating minutes in bunches - something the Isles desperately need right now to relieve pressure off their top-4.
According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, It appears as if the Sharks are willing to listen to offers on Ferraro along with the rest of their defensive corps.
"The Sharks have let it be known they will consider a lot on the blue line in terms of who might be available and what they might be willing to do," said Friedman Saturday night during Hockey Night in Canada. "The name I think most teams will have the most interest in is Mario Ferraro. He's got two years left at 3.25M - he's a heck of a young player, but I don't believe that will be inexpensive."
Outside of draft picks, the Isles don't have much to offer. However, Ferraro is still young and inexpensive in terms of salary and could be part of the Isles' blue line heading into the future along with Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov. Departing with some of the few assets the Isles have could be worth the move.