The New York Islanders are coming off their first season without a playoff appearance in four years, missing the postseason for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Scoring goals has always been a major problem for the Islanders, even during past playoff runs. Even with some goal scoring success found in the later portion of the 2021-22 season, the team needs a top line winger.
Lou Lamoriello has tried numerous times to bring in a top goal scorer, but they all decided to sign elsewhere. Potentially with some open cap space and the Isles wanting to re-tool and get back in the playoffs, here are three targets they should try and acquire this offseason.
Forsberg is exactly the player the Islanders need. He can score goals with a great shot and incredible finish and he can create plays as well. He ended the season with 42 goals and 42 assists finishing with a career-high 84 points in just 69 games. This is the type of player that would flourish with Mathew Barzal fortifying an elite top line for the Islanders.
Coming off of a career season, Forsberg is in line for a major payday. The Predators love him, as he is the franchise's all-time leader in goals, but they may not be able to afford him long-term due to the many large contracts they have given out. If the Islanders can find the money they should be all over Filip Forsberg, who is also only 27 years old.
Gaudreau, like Forsberg, is also coming off of his career-best season where he put up 115 points after playing all 82 games. He has a smaller frame but is a fast skater with incredible stick skills. Johnny Gaudreau would be a fantastic player for the Islanders to sign without having to give up assets.
With the Islanders being one of the slower teams last season, they could really use Gaudreau's speed. Johnny Gaudreau would flourish with Mathew Barzal creating a great combination of speed, playmaking, and goal-scoring.
Tarasenko is a player who has been linked to the Islanders in the past. The difficult part here is that the Isles would need to trade for Tarasenko, as he is not a free agent. His value has also gone up after rebounding successfully from injury in 2021-22. He finished with 82 points in 75 games. Tarasenko can do it all offensively, with a terrific shot and great hands.
His contract has one year remaining with a cap hit of $7.5 million. The question here is what would the Islanders be willing to trade? There were rumors last season of Anthony Beauvillier and a second-round pick. It is up to the Islanders if they are willing to pull the trigger on a trade for Vladimir Tarasenko.
The New York Islanders have to improve their offense next season. If they can make the cap work after signing Noah Dobson to an extension they should be all over Filip Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau, and Vladimir Tarasenko.