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New York Islanders

Islanders Trade Grades: Wahlstrom For Duclair; Bolduc For Buchnevich



AP Photo/Adam Hunger

We’re just over three weeks from the NHL trade deadline, and New York Islanders fans are anxiously waiting to see what moves team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello will make.

Recently, a few of you have come to me, looking for my opinion on your own Islanders trade ideas. All of them have been creative, and some more than others. You ask, you shall receive.

Here are a few trades posed by NYI Hockey Now readers on X.

Islanders trade Oliver Wahlstrom, Sebastian Aho and a second-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Vladimir Tarasenko; Ottawa retains 50% of Tarasenko’s contract. -@RyanJackNYY

From an Islanders’ standpoint, I’d make this move yesterday.

They’d have to place Hudson Fasching on long-term injured reserve and waive Robert Bortuzzo to fit Tarasenko under the cap, but that’s a small price to pay in this situation.

Tarasenko isn’t the player he was in his heyday, but he would still provide a more reliable scoring option than what the Islanders currently have in their middle six. I’m just not entirely sure where he fits in the Islanders’ lineup.

The easiest place is on the third line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Simon Holmstrom, but that’s not necessarily a role that fits Tarasenko’s play style. He’d work best alongside Brock Nelson, but that’d mean shifting Kyle Palmieri, who has worked so well next to Nelson for a long time.

But a few questions need to be considered first before we put Tarasenkon in blue and orange.

Is a package of Wahlstrom, Aho and a second-round pick enticing enough for the Senators, who will surely have multiple bidders looking to acquire Tarasenko?

Secondly, and more importantly, will Tarasenko waive his full no-trade clause to join the Islanders?

Islanders trade Simon Holmstrom, Matthew Maggio and a first-round pick/Samuel Bolduc and a first-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for Pavel Buchnevich; St. Louis retains 50% of Buchnevich’s contract. -@N_47728/@CFree614

Pavel Buchnevich could certainly help the Islanders and give their top six an added punch, but I don’t think either of these moves work for either side at the moment.

First and foremost, the Islanders wouldn’t be able to fit Buchnevich’s deal under the cap, even after making coinciding transactions like waiving Bortuzzo or moving Fasching to LTIR. They’d need to move another contract by sending someone else to St. Louis or making a separate trade.

Even then, all the players the Islanders would be giving up in these deals are young and have multiple years of team control left on their contracts. Even if the Islanders were in line to make a deep playoff run, they’d be overpaying, in my opinion.

Islanders trade Oliver Wahlstrom and a second-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for Anthony Duclair and a third-round pick. -@AndyHicks1982

This is a deal that works for both sides. Wahlstrom gets to refresh his career without the rebuilding Sharks, while Duclair gets to help the Islanders make a playoff push.

The Islanders would still need to find a way to move some money around, but this is a good start.

Islanders trade Oliver Wahlstrom, Sebastian Aho and a fourth-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for Bowen Byram and a sixth-round pick. -@Sad2BalwaysLAST

I don’t see any scenario in which the Colorado Avalanche accepts this deal.

Bowen Byram’s name was rumored to be part of a package Colorado had lined up to acquire a bonafide second-line center, and this trade doesn’t get them one or anything comparable to one.

Not to mention, the Islanders have all they can handle on the blue line right now. Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov have each earned themselves a raise this year. Plus, Adam Pelech, RyanPulock and Scott Mayfield are all locked up long-term. Byram isn’t a luxury the Islanders need and certainly isn’t one they can afford.

Islanders trade Oliver Wahlstrom to either the Los Angeles Kings for Arthur Kaliyev or the Buffalo Sabres for Peyton Krebs. -@DM_8080

I like both of these moves for the Islanders in a vacuum. However, I feel Buffalo would be more willing to make this sort of deal than Los Angeles.

The Kings are fighting to stay in the playoff race, and swapping one struggling player for another doesn’t help them.

Moving Wahlstrom for Krebs provides both players with some fresh scenery. I just don’t know if Krebs can come to the Islanders and be any more of the 200-foot player they desire than Wahlstrom already is.

Islanders trade Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Oliver Wahlstrom and Sebastian Aho to the Montreal Canadiens for Josh Anderson. -@ajb9465

There really isn’t a point in making this trade for the Islanders.

One of the Islanders’ greatest strengths is their depth down the middle, and that’s not worth sacrificing by moving Pageau for a player like Anderson.

Anderson has struggled mightily this year, and his $5.5 million cap hit over the next three and a half years would only be another bad contract on the Islanders’ books.

I’d say we have about 10 guys worth keeping. The rest should be a fire sale:  Pulock, Pelech, Dobson, Barzal, Horvat, Nelson, Sorokin, Holmstrom, Romanov, and Cizikas. The question is, outside of these players, who else would you want to keep, or do you think any of these should be traded? -@Bill231b

The only players that I’d consider to be absolutely untouchable would be Mathew Barzal, Bo Horvat, Noah Dobson and Ilya Sorokin. That is the core of this Islanders team for the next eight to ten years.

That doesn’t mean they should be selling, though. Players like Nelson, Pulock, Pelech, Romanov and Cizikas are all still solid contributors and will likely be for the foreseeable future. However, if another team is willing to overpay for one of them, why should the Islanders say no?




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