Can the New York Islanders Offload Mikhail Grabovski's Salary to the Vegas Golden Knights? 1
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Kieffer Bellows poses for a photo after being selected as the number nineteen overall draft pick by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

After taking the expansion draft into account, the Islanders will likely lose a defensive asset on the roster. The two likely candidates are Calvin deHaan or Ryan Pulock, and both are valuable top-four defensemen. 

June 21, 2017 will see several teams shift players around frantically before the actual expansion draft takes place. Experts predict that the looming expansion draft caused teams to keep their assets on hand during the 16-17 trade deadline.

The activity on the 16-17 deadline was so ineffective, that many experts are predicting an active day before the teams begin selection.

The Islanders concern for the expansion draft will likely be on defense, considering the Islanders abundance of eligible, young talent albeit players like Thomas Hickey and Travis Hamonic are both coming off of career-lows. At one point this past season the Islanders relied on Dennis Seidenberg, a 34-year-old, for the majority of wins in the November month.

Since the ground of exemption from the draft is less than two years of experience in the major league (AHL and above), it makes players like Ryan Pulock eligible to be taken forcing teams like the Islanders to essentially “burn” an expansion slot in the eight skaters strategy versus the seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie route. The Islanders can afford to leave some holes open on the roster as far as offense goes since truthfully many offensive options will likely not appeal to the Golden Knights anyway especially given there are 30 other NHL teams with far better choices to take from offensively.

Since John Tavares, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk all have a NMC (No-Movement Clause), none of these players are moving regardless (The argument for Tavares to re-sign can be had elsewhere. Even on the slim chance he leaves, the Islanders will make any moves after the expansion draft, not before it).

These should be General Manager Garth Snows five other players of choice: Nick Leddy, Anders Lee, Ryan Pulock, Travis Hamonic, Casey Cizikas.

They are the most concise group of talent to build around on the team, and honestly the likely victim if Snow does indeed protect both Pulock and Hamonic will be deHaan. There has been some rumor circulating around the young defenseman and the Detroit Red Wings, but there has yet to be any official grounds on trade rumors from Islander Insiders such as Arthur Staple.

So if the following players are protected, and assuming that nobody is claimed as of right now, this is what ideally the roster would round out to be as it stands:

Anders Lee – John Tavares – Josh Ho-Sang
Andrew Ladd – Brock Nelson – Josh Bailey
Shane Prince – Anthony Beauvillier – Ryan Strome
Jason Chimera – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy – Adam Pelech
Travis Hamonic – Johnny Boychuk
Scott Mayfield – Ryan Pulock

Jaroslav Halak
Thomas Griess

Extras: Nikolay Kulemin, Alan Quine, Dennis Seidenberg, Thomas Hickey

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Everyone outside of Pittsburgh uttered a collective groan after this past Thursday night.

The Ottawa Senators Cinderella run came to an unfortunate halt on Thursday losing Game 7 3-2 in overtime to the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

A defeated Erik Karlsson said in a post-game interview “They were simply the better team” and while this was definitely true on paper, there was no quit in the Ottawa team who restricted one of the most gifted offensive teams to only six goals in four combined playoff games.

The Senators have nothing to hang their heads about, but the job now lies in the hands of the very capable Nashville Predators to put a stop to the Penguins run for a second consecutive championship in the NHL, something that has not been done since the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings.

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.