Just a few weeks ago, most people felt the New York Islanders would be sellers at the deadline as the team has a number of players ready to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the season, including Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Valtteri Filppula as well as goaltender Robin Lehner. However, with a recent hot streak in which the team has gone 14-3 in their past 17 games dating back to Dec. 15, the New York Islanders suddenly have found themselves in first place in the Metropolitan Division and look like a team on the rise.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that while no one ever knows what Islanders’ general manager Lou Lamoriello is thinking, he wouldn’t be surprise if the team decides to become a buyer rather than a seller at the trade deadline. The team could make a move in order to bring in a rental forward like Ottawa’s Matt Duchene or Mark Stone or even add to their defense by going after Los Angeles’ Alec Martinez or Jake Muzzin, or possibly both.
New York does have some tradeable assets as they have several young players trying to work their way onto the Islanders’ roster, including forwards Michael Dal Colle, Joshua Ho-Sang and Keifer Bellows as well as defenseman Sebastian Aho among others. And that doesn’t include top prospects that are currently playing for their junior teams. With many teams looking to get younger, the Islanders might have the right pieces to bring some of those players in as Lamoriello reshapes the roster to his design as the team currently has only a few players locked up to long-term deals.
While Brooks is guessing on what Lamoriello might target for his team, the scribe adds that moves may come soon as Lamoriello is well known for making deals well before the deadline.