7 players the Islanders could target this offseason
The 2016 offseason is the most important offseason in general manager Garth Snow’s career. On top of trying to re-sign Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, and Frans Nielsen, he needs to find a top line forward for John Tavares, or at the very least someone to bolster their forward group. Here are some options he could look at.
1. Jeff Skinner
There have been a few rumors in the past about Jeff Skinner’s departure from Carolina, most recently in June of 2015, but still nothing has budged. The seventh overall pick in 2010 dealt with concussion issues early in his career, but has since gotten healthy and played all 82 games last year. He put up 28 goals and 51 points in 2015-2016, 5 goals and 12 points off his career high. The Hurricanes are loaded on defense which plays into the Islanders’ strength. The Islanders don’t have many defensive chips to trade, but can mortgage a few pieces up front in exchange for a dynamic player like Skinner. Carolina’s weak offense would have a major hole in it if Skinner departs, meaning the Islanders would have to give more. Skinner may not be the most feasible option, but he’s one of the best fit for the job.
2. Jamie McGinn
McGinn has bounced around on a few teams in recent years but is still a consistent provider of both offense and defense for the bottom six. McGinn was 56th in the league in hits last year, sitting right behind Anders Lee. If Matt Martin departs, McGinn would be a nice addition to the fourth line.
3. Troy Brouwer
Brouwer would also fit well with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck should Matt Martin not return. Brouwer, along with his tenacious physical play, would bring Stanley Cup experience to the Islanders, a trait they severely lack. Brouwer has hit 20 goals three times in his career and had 18 this year with St. Louis. Brouwer does take a lot of penalties, but that’s nothing that the team should not be used to thanks to the way Matt Martin tends to play.
4. James van Riemsdyk
The Toronto forward had an off year last season with 14 goals in 40 games played but would still be a valuable addition to John Tavares’ wing. He hit 30 goals one year, but hasn’t played with the type of skill in the middle in Toronto as he would with the Islanders and John Tavares. The excess amount of prospects the Isles have would be valuable to the rebuilding Leafs as well.
5. Jordan Eberle
Much like Skinner, Eberle has been in trade talks for a while. However, the Oilers need immediate help on defense, something the Isles cannot give to them. A trade, in fairness, could still happen, but I wouldn’t hold your breath in anticipation of Jordan Eberle playing in Brooklyn.
6. Andrew Shaw
Shaw could be the casualty of Chicago’s cap crunch this summer, although GM Stan Bowman says he is still working out the numbers. Shaw would add a net front presence to the Isles’ second powerplay unit, and like Brouwer would bring Stanley Cup experience. Shaw’s versatility in being able to play in multiple lineup spots would also help the Islanders.
7. Teddy Purcell
If the Islanders want an interim middle-six man while Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, and Michael Dal Colle develop, Purcell could work on a two year deal. Not a flashy player, but someone that can get it done offensively.