I think islander fans, including myself, we’re hoping for a trade to shore up the defense before we got to the start of the season.
I never would have predicted what happened today. In separate deals the Islanders added both Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuck.
The interesting thing, to me, is that Garth was able to make both of those deals, and still has the same extra forwards that he had yesterday. That’s a pretty good day.
So let’s see where we stand now. Clearly, the Islanders have improved drastically in the offseason, at least on paper. Bridgeport should also have a strong, young team full of prospects, and the two first round picks from 2014 will spend the year with their junior teams.
Naysayers will point out that the Isles traded away a good prospect in Ville Pokka, might not have these guys for much beyond this year, and now don’t have a first or second round pick in next year’s draft, supposedly a very good draft. I would counter that the team is all in for winning this year, which should make the draft picks given up worth a bit less than we’re used to, and really, think about how stocked Bridgeport will be next season and how much young talent the team has in the pipeline, especially on defense. They could afford to give up Pokka, and if Boychuck and Leddy aren’t here beyond this year, so be it. Having them this year gives Reinhart, Pulock, Pedan, Mayfield, etc. a season and hopefully long playoff run in Bridgeport to prepare to replace them.
Bottom line, the team is better today than it was yesterday, and there’s been no significant impact on the prospect pool. Let’s get this season started!