Tag: Isles blog

New York Islanders Players They Should Trade For A Rental

The All-Star break is officially among us, therefore some players are off (those not attending the All-Star game festivities) but more importantly every NHL General Manager and owner has off from day to day operations but for some teams coaches, owners and general managers there is still some work to be done. Among those teams who’s front office will probably not get much time off during the All-Star break is the New York Islanders.

The Islanders have put themselves within the top-5 of the NHL, 1st in the Metropolitan division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have made their case to be legitimate playoff team, they have depth, goal-scoring, goal tending and coaching. But right before the team went on break Lou Lamoriello said that he is looking to upgrade the team and is interested in adding a rental player. But who might be moved for that rental player? These are my five picks at who could be moved from the Islanders.

1. Michael Dal Colle: Depending on the value of the rental forward or defenseman you are recieving the Islanders real only top prospect right now that is avialable to play in the NHL for another team, has some NHL experience, value, and is a solid stock to invest in for any team is Del Colle. He’s played 17 NHL games but has more experience in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Dal Colle has collected 166 AHL games with 93 points.

2. Sebastian Aho: The Islanders young defensive prospect does not look like he will crack the roster over the next two to three years with the solid play of Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield and Devon Toews, Aho is the odd-man out in this situation. Therefore why not get some return for the 5th round draft pick. Aho has played 76 AHL games collecting 55 AHL points, he is playing well above a 5th round draft pick right now. He also played 22 NHL games in 2017-18 collecting 4 points.

3. Adam Pelech: The Islanders fifth defensemen at the moment has not been all that bad nor all that great. Definitely not good enough to not at least throw his name in the hat of players to potentially shed. Pelech also comes with a small price tag of 1.6 million for another three years and has played already 176 NHL games at the age of 24. Pelech is still a young defensemen that has NHL experience that can be valuable to a team like the Flyers.

4. Lucas Sbisa: The Islanders definitely do not need this guy he has been in and out of the line up all year and it seems the Islanders are not too gung-ho on Sbisa. The return for Sbisa would not be too large they would need to throw in an early draft pick but he does provide a little value to some NHL rosters. He is still only 28-years-old with 504 NHL games played.

5. Josh Ho-Sang: The last player Islander fans want to see on this list probably and realistically he probably won’t be traded but I would not be surprised to see him moved. Ho-Sang had a lot of hype surrounding him before Matt Barzal came to town. Ho-Sang has been back and forth from the AHL to the NHL for almost three years now. It is almost sad to see his talent wasted but it is obvious that the Islanders have not taken a liking to the kid. Under three different coaches Ho-Sang has not been a regular in the line up. It may be better for him to get a new start somewhere else, the only issue is that Ho-Sang’s stock is a little low right now and the Islanders would probably lose the deal if they go out and get a rental for Ho-Sang but that is the gamble of trying to take that next step to be a legit playoff team and not a one and done.

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What Could The New York Islanders Rental Options Be At The Trade Deadline?

The New York Islanders have exceeded well above their expectations this season. They are currently first place in the Metropolitan division, 29-15-4, 62 points and fifth in the NHL as well. They are currently on a five-game winning streak, 8-2-0 in their last ten and 14-3-0 since December 15th, 2018. They have a slew of players chipping in from Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizkas to Michael Dal Colle to Jordan Eberle to Matt Barzal to every one in between, on the back end and a two-goalie tandem that is playing unbelievable. It has been an all-team effort for the Islanders, Barry Trotz has made this team a well oiled machine from line one to line four on the front end and a defense that is playing well above their expectations.

But still, the Islanders and Lou Lamoirello believe they can be better and they want to improve. Right now the Islanders have a pretty tough line up to crack with Barzal centering Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson centering Lee and Eberle, Filppula centering Leo Komarov and Michael Del Colle and the fourth line that won’t be touched. Therefore where and who would the Islanders get to fill in on the front end? As far as the back end, Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk have been together for quite sometime now, Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech then Scott Mayfield and Devon Toews as the third line. I can see a veteran defenseman sliding in for Pelech maybe, but right now Mayfield and Toews are playing too well to ruin their confidence and game with a veteran defenseman to help add some experience. It has to be a forward in my opinion but who? These five forwards are rentals I can see the Islanders going after.

1. Derick Brassard: He provides some center depth, can play either the bottom six or top six, does not cost a whole lot and the Penguins really are looking to get rid of him. My only concern is that he is a little cold right now and if the Islanders go out and get a cold forward to bring into this hot team it may not work out well. Like the Bruins and Nash last season.

2. Kevin Hayes: This may be the last thing to ever be done a Rangers-Islanders trade but Hayes would be a perfect fit for the Islanders can play the wing or center, is having an expectational year, almost plays like a Komarov just better and younger. Would be a good play-making winger to slide with Bailey and Barzal.

3. Gustav Nyquist: The Islanders could use a player of Nyquist’s caliber, experienced in the playoffs, can be a play-maker/goal scorer, can play the wing well and can really be slotted with any of these Islanders top three lines. Nyquist is used to playing with younger guys therefore a Nyquist-Barzal-Bailey does not sound all that bad.

4. Wayne Simmonds: The Islanders have one player like this a Cal Clutterbuck type of guy but Simmonds can play really well below the goal-line, plays a strong, physical game that the Islanders could use a little more of from their top two lines. Would fit well with Trotz’s system and is on the market.

5. Ryan Dzingel: The situation in Ottawa is pretty clear they have to sign Matt Duchene and Mark Stone if they do not sign both then it makes sense to keep Dzingel but if both sign there is no room for Dzingel on the cap. Therefore he becomes a trade piece. A player that is young, with a ton of potential who would benefit greatly from a good young team. This is a shot in the dark but my final option as to guys who would fall as rentals with some possibility to sign back after the year.

Are The New York Islanders For Real?

I said this about three weeks ago when I wrote about how the Islanders will make the playoffs in the wild card spot. Although I do believe the Islanders are a solid team, I was not under the impression they would be the metropolitan divisions first place team at the moment.

With their win in Washington Friday night. Not just any win, a shutout win for Thomas Greiss and a 2-0 Islanders victory. The Islanders jumped the Capitals for first place with 60 points. Barry Trotz made his return to Washington a sweet one, perhaps not so sweet in the eyes of Capitals fans. While the Islanders lead the Metropolitan with 60 points and tied with the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference as well. The more shocking piece of news to me is that the Islanders are (1) doing this all without John Tavares, (2) doing this all without a forward paid over 6 million a year, (3) have seven forwards with 20 plus points (4) have the least goals against in the NHL with a defense consisting of four first to second year players.

The Islanders have been on a ridiculous tear as of late, winning 8 of their last 10 on a four-game winning streak, posting a record of 15-6-2 between December and January. Their last two games are Anaheim and Chicago to finish off January until the All-Star break.

The Barry Trotz affect…

It is tough to say if the Islanders are for real, they definitely deserve a lot of recognition right now, after being projected to be a bottom of the barrel team, multiple acquisitions of the team being nothing without Tavares and having low expectations to now be 47 games in and in first place with 60 points is outstanding. Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello have certainly used their wisdom and years of experience to the betterment of this Islanders team but all coaching and management aside. The Islanders players from top to bottom are all chipping in.

From top to bottom the Islanders are getting it done…

Jordan Eberle is starting to turn a corner, Brock Nelson is having a great year, Anders Lee is stepping into some big shoes quite well, Matt Barzal turned the reporters who said he was not going to be the same player this year into chumps, Valtteri Filppula is having a surprising year, Casey Cizkas is the best fourth line player in hockey, along with Cal Clutterbuck. Ryan Pulock, Nick Leddy and that Islanders blue line is not the same as last year. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have looked unbelievable. There are a lot of factors that go into the Islanders success, yes we have 35 games left but the Islanders are going to be in the playoffs in my opinion. In a top-three Metro spot, I don’t know but either way they will be there. It should not come as a major surprise to many but Barry Trotz could go down as one of the best modern day coaches if he manages to make this Islanders team into a consistent playoff team and more.

Islanders month of February looks like, Tampa Bay, Kings, at Boston, at Devils, Colorado, at Minnesota (back to back COL, MIN), at Buffalo, at Columbus, Edmonton, at Calgary, at Edmonton (back to back), at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto.

Right now they need to worry about their last two January games but if the Islanders can come out of the All-Star break and take February away with a record of 9-5 they will put themselves in a perfect spot for the playoffs and pretty comfortable heading into the last full month of action.