Will the NY Islanders make a trade at tonight's NHL Draft?

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

We're less than 96 hours removed from Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and already set to begin the first big event of the 2024-25 season. The NY Islanders are slated to pick 20th in the first round of the NHL Draft, with very little known about what direction Lou Lamoriello will go tonight.

The belief, and preference for many is that the Islanders will look to move the 20th overall pick to acquire a top-6 winger. The Isles already made one move in this draft but it came about a month earlier than expected. Original owners of the 18th overall pick, Lamoriello sent that pick along with pick No. 50 to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for No. 20, 54, and 61. The belief is the additional second-round pick allows Lamoriello extra assets to complete a bigger move.

The name thrown around most often this off-season as a possible trade target for the Islanders is Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets. The 29-year-old Danish winger is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, finishing with 61 points while appearing in all 82 games.

It's recently been reported that Jets prospect Rutger McGroarty is unwilling to sign in Winnipeg, and is looking for his rights to be moved. A move to acquire Ehlers and McGroarty would be a heist for Lamoriello but seems unlikely with the Islanders' lack of assets.

There is always the possibility Lamoriello takes the stage at pick No. 20 and makes a selection, which would be the Islanders' first pick in round one since 2019 when they selected Simon Holmstrom 23rd overall. Some names thrown around as potential picks for the Islanders are Trevor Connelly, Michael Hage, and Jett Luchanko. With a bleak prospect pool, any player the Isles select in round one would become their top prospect.

You can catch the draft at 7 pm tonight on ESPN in the US or on Sportsnet in Canada.