Earlier this week, the Islanders made headlines as they signed defenseman Nick Leddy to a 7 year extension. My THW colleague Pete Judge did an excellent piece on why that contract is a great deal for the Islanders and it can be found here. Following that news, it has been reported that the Islanders have been negotiating with Johnny Boychuk and have at least one offer to him that would make him the highest paid player on the team.
— Daniel Friedman (@DFriedmanOnNYI) February 25, 2015
With Leddy in the fold, and Boychuk looking close, spots on the Islanders blue line will be hard to come by in coming years. So, this begs the question, with the trade deadline looming, should the Islanders make top defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart available in trade talks to help bolster the team for this years playoff run?
Is There Room For Him?
As said above, with Leddy in the fold and Boychuk looking like he will be as well on top of de Haan and Hamonic, will there be room for Reinhart on the blueline. Lets not forget the Islanders abundance of defensive prospects as well. While if Reinharts play warranted it I’m sure they would make room for him. However, I don’t feel as though Reinhart should be as untouchable as he was before the Islanders acquired Boychuk and Leddy back in October. Their acquisition has given the Islanders tremendous depth and the ability to trade from that depth if they deem it worthwhile, even someone as highly touted as Reinhart.
Pulock Pushing Him
Coming into the season, most pegged Reinhart as the team’s top defensive prospect. However, that isn’t the case anymore as for most people Ryan Pulock has over taken him for those honors. Pulock has burst onto the scene in Bridgeport this season getting 17 points in 31 games including 12 goals. His emergence has led to the team not relying as much on Reinhart to pan out like they otherwise might’ve. He has proved to be a force on the power play which will be very useful for the Islanders but at the same time not be a liability in his own zone which is the case some times for offensive minded defensemen.
What is he worth?
That is something everyone wonders, what can they get back for him? Accessing value like that is tough especially for someone with such limited NHL experience. However, it should still be relatively high. He is a former 5th overall pick, and while he hasn’t done overly well to make a value increase make sense, he hasn’t been that bad either that would cause his value to deteriorate. I feel as though he could definitely be a corner-stone player if the Islanders made an offer for a marquee name to a team starved for defense.
Will he be Traded?
While I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing him, depending on the offer of course, I don’t think he will be traded before Mondays deadline. However, that doesn’t mean he will not be traded at all. With the Oilers starved for defense and reportedly really high on Reinhart, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to get together on a deal with the Islanders primarily made of Reinhart and Jordan Eberle or another top Oiler offensive player sometime over the summer.