The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Robert Bortuzzo from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for their seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, per a team announcement.
Bortuzzo, 34, is a 13-year NHL veteran and has played in St. Louis for the last decade but has appeared in just four games this season. He won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019.
Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bortuzzo has built his career on physicality and is regarded as a positive presence in the locker room. In 537 career games, Bortuzzo has amassed 74 points with 20 goals.
The trade for Bortuzzo comes after the Islanders placed defenseman Ryan Pulock on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 7. The earliest possible date for his return his Dec. 14.
Pulock blocked a shot off his leg during the second period of the Islanders win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night and looked to be in pain for the remainder of his shift and while he returned to the bench. He stayed in the game but did not play during the final 8:41 seconds of the third period.
Pulock is just the latest defenseman the Islanders have placed on the shelf. Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho have missed the last two weeks of action after they both sustained upper-body injuries in a win over the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 24.
Aho began skating again earlier this week, but there is still no timetable for his return.
Because Pelech is on long-term injured reserve, the Islanders can have Bortuzzo’s $950,000 salary this season on their books without exceeding the NHL’s salary cap threshold. Bortuzzo is in the final year of his contract.
It’s unclear at this point when Bortuzzo will join the Islanders. When he does, he can take Pulock’s spot on the blue line as a right-handed shot.
The Islanders welcome the Los Angeles Kings to UBS Arena tomorrow night.