Every New York Islanders fan is worrying about the same things: Weight, Snow, Tavares, Belmont. As an Islander fan who writes for this site, I hear many different opinions on all four of those situations, and I tend to disagree with many of them; however, the Islanders have more to do this offseason than worry about those four things (even though they should be your biggest concerns).
The New York Islanders have eight picks in this coming draft, including four in the first two rounds and two lottery picks (Thanks Calgary!) The Islanders have the tenth and twelfth odds at the first overall pick, generally known as Rasmus Dahlin. There are many top defensive prospects heading into this year’s draft, including Quinn Hughes, Ty Smith, Noah Dobson, and Bode Wilde, as well as forwards such as centers Joe Veleno and Barrett Haydon, and winger Joel Farabee. Look for the Isles to target defenseman (or wingers we don’t need) in this year’s draft.
The Other Free Agents:
Wow! The Islanders have other free agents not named John Tavares? Of course we do. Despite the focus being on our captain, the Isles also have UFA’s Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey, Dennis Seidenberg, Nikolai Kulemin, amazing Trade Deadline acquisition Chris Wagner, Jaroslav Halak, Christopher Gibson, along with other AHL guys. In RFA’s, they have Brock Nelson, Shane Prince, Ross Johnston, Alan Quine, Brandon Davidson, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews. Kulemin and Seidenberg are good as gone, and the others are in limbo based on the Tavares outcome.
If Tavares becomes an anomaly to the Islanders (or even if he stays), there are many options on the free agent market at each position. Highlighting forwards are James Neal, Paul Stastny, Evander Kane, James van Riemsdyk, and Mark Stone, all of which are capable top-six forwards who can put up points and be potential All-Stars. Heading the defense is Capitals underrated superstar John Carlson, along with Mike Green, Luca Sbisa and John Moore. Goaltenders on the market include Kari Lehtonen, Carter Hutton, and Jonathan Bernier. As you can tell, if the free agents on the market this offseason become an NHL team, they would basically be the Islanders. Good offense, mediocre defense, and awful goaltending.
Well, obviously, the Islanders have four primary problems: Tavares, Snow, Weight, and Belmont, but that isn’t all. There are problems that have been undermined during the whole “Snow Must Go” and Tavares saga that we should be worrying about.