New York Islanders' Top Trade Candidate This Season

The New York Islanders desperately need some impactful wingers and don't have a ton of cap space to work with. They hold the second wildcard spot in the East, but have been struggling to win games and stay ahead. They could potentially go for a big fish at the trade deadline because once they get into the playoffs, this team is a very tough out.

In order to free up some cap space, the Islanders would have to move some out. Since much of their money is tied up in veterans with multiple years left, Semyon Varlamov is the likeliest trade candidate. He is in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $5 million and he is still capable of being a starter. A team could need that by the time the trade deadline comes around.

Varlamov has an 8-4-1 record with a .913 SV%, 2.75 GAA, and 3.2 goals saved above average (GSAA). But since Ilya Sorokin, one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, is the starter, Varlamov is limited to few games. Sorokin has and will continue to carry most of the load in net, so the Islanders don't need to continue holding onto a cap hit of $5 million.

I don't trust Corey Schneider to be the backup, but there are much cheaper replacements that could put up just as good numbers as Varlamov in New York for much cheaper. But as Lou Lamoriello typically does, things will be kept quiet until a splash is made.

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