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After an atrocious start to 2017, the New York Islanders must shift focus

November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) moves in to score a goal past Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier (1) during the shootout period at Honda Center. The Islanders win 3-2 following shootouts. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

3) Trade expansion-eligible players

Trimming the fat, so to say.

It’s no secret that the Islanders will likely get picked apart in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

Former Islanders executive George McPhee was named first-ever GM of the Vegas Golden Knights in the summer.

McPhee only spent one year with the Islanders in 15-16 but he knows the players well enough to know who would fit in his vision for the Knights and a reliable pick offensively or defensively can really help his team.

Prime targets from the Islanders to be selected in the draft include Thomas Hickey, Calvin deHaan and Ryan Pulock.

The Islanders will likely look to keep Pulock, so realistically deHaan and Hickey are the two odd-men-out when it comes to players who are to be retained.

A viable suitor for the excess defense will likely be sent out if a trade is made for Tavares’ winger. Colorado is in need of defense and would likely relish an opportunity to strengthen their blue line with young defensemen.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.