We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make the parting any easier. The Hawks finally got under the salary cap ceiling by dealing defenseman Nick Leddy and goaltender Kent Simpson to the New York Islanders in exchange for prospects TJ Brennan, Ville Pokka, and the rights to goalie Anders Nilsson. The trade helped out both teams, as it successfully gave the Hawks some cap room while helping New York upgrade their blue line, but who really won this deal?
It appeared that this rainy Saturday would be nothing but a dreary day on Long Island with every resident hoping for a few rays of sunshine to brighten up the day. Well, the sun may not have appeared from behind the clouds, but things are certainly shining bright after the New York Islanders made some bold trades that have drastically improved their roster.
The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins and Nick Leddy from the Chicago Blackhawks.
With training camp starting in a few days, the Islanders finally have solid competition up and down their roster. New additions on offense, an influx of youth on defense and two new goaltenders means there will be battles everywhere in camp from start to finish.
Ryan Strome has been developing with the New York Islanders organization for the past two years, playing with their AHL farm-team affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Photo Credit: mandelux12/Flickr).
In 10 games with the Sound Tigers in 2013, Strome scored seven points in 10 games (two goals and five assists). He has continued the high scoring pace this season as well, notching 14 points in nine games played (three goals and 11 assists) as the team's top scorer.
He also was cited as the best player in the Islander rookie camp before the puck dropped for this season as well.
The old saying goes as follows: "defense wins championships." The New York Islanders have learned in recent years that they have not had enough defense. No Islanders team has averaged less than three goals against per game since the 2007-2008 season, and if that team had allowed three more goals, it would have been exactly three goals against per game.
The 2012 NHL entry draft concluded this past weekend and with it came seven new prospects to the Islanders system. In a strange move by Garth Snow, the franchise picked all defenseman.
Most of these prospects are still a year or two away from wearing an Islanders jersey but here's a look at what the future might hold.
Many of you have heard about the first round selection Griffin Reinhart so we'll touch on the picks made during the second day of the draft.
In the second round (34th overall), the Islanders selected Ville Pokka from Karpat of the Finnish professional league. Pokka is already playing against men as a 17-year old and still was able to put up three assists in 35 games.
You couldn't have been more wrong if you predicted the Islanders to take a forward in this year's draft. The Isles only selected defenseman out of all seven rounds of this year's draft. They also acquired the top four defenseman that GM Garth Snow has continuously talked about addressing in this off-season.
The first move came when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Islanders traded their 2013 second round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Lubomir Visnovsky, a 35-year old defenseman (he turns 36 in August) in the final year of his contract. Visnovsky put up six goals and 21 assists for 27 points in 68 games last year with the Ducks. The year before was even better as the Ducks d-man scored 61 points in 81 games. 2012 was a tough year overall for the Ducks, so there's reason to believe that Visnovsky can be an offensive weapon, especially on the power play.