Which current NHL players do the NY Islanders wish they could have back?

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Moving on from players due to trade or free agency is never easy for fans, as they become accustomed to seeing the same names and numbers over and over for years. Across the league, organizations are forced to make transactions they may not want to make, with the NY Islanders being no different. So of the current players in the NHL, who are the players the Islanders wish they could have back the most?

There are more than a few names that could make this list either due to their on ice capabilities or impact they left on the organization and the community.

These three former Islanders would be the biggest additions to current roster:

Devon Toews

Probably the most popular choice among the fan base, Devon Toews was a cap casualty for the Islanders after just four years with the organization. Toews stepped in to take the role of puck-carrying defenseman, something the Isles have been struggling to replace ever since. Due a significant pay raise after outperforming his two-year $700k contract in 2020, Lou Lamoriello sent Toews to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for second-round picks in 2021 and 2022.

With the picks the Isles received, one was used in the deal to the Arizona Coyotes as a sweetener to take on Andrew Ladd's contract, and the other to select Calle Odelius with the last pick in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Since his time with Colorado, Toews has won a Stanley Cup and could find himself in a similar situation following this season, as he is due a raise with the Avs up against the cap ceiling.

Jordan Eberle

The Isles may not have wanted to move on from Jordan Eberle but had little choice as the Seattle Kraken selected the Isles' winger during the expansion draft. Since his departure, Eberle has become one of the leaders on a young, mostly inexperienced Kraken roster. It was always likely Eberle would be taken by Seattle, as he or Josh Bailey always seemed the obvious choices.

During his time with the Isles, Eberle never really found that scoring touch he had in Edmonton but seemed to show up in big situations, especially during the playoffs. Last season, during the Kraken's run to the second round of the playoffs, knocking off the defending Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche, Eberle put up 63 points (20 goals, 43 assists), his most since 2014-15. With the scoring issues the Isles have had of late, Eberle is someone they wish they could take back.

Carter Verhaeghe

The Islanders aren't the only team who wish they could have Carter Verhaeghe back, as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are also surely regretting letting go of a 40-goal scorer. Though he never suited up for the Islanders, the current team could desperately use a player with his scoring prowess. Acquired from the Leafs in 2017 as one of five players sent to the Islanders for Michael Grabner, Verhaeghe was a former third-round pick who struggled to get going in the AHL.

After two years of bouncing between the AHL and ECHL, GM Garth Snow shipped Verhaeghe to Tampa for goaltending depth in Krister Gudlevskis. Gudlevskis spent only one season in Bridgeport before heading to Europe, where he's remained ever since. Verhaeghe, now a member of the Florida Panthers, was the leading goal scorer (42) on a team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. His nose for goal and team-friendly contract could be the missing piece for the Islanders' current roster, but it was nearly impossible to know the type of player he'd eventually become.