The New York Islanders have traded defenceman Devon Toews to the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs will send a second-round pick in both the 2021 and 2022 drafts. Toews is in need of a new contract as a restricted free agent at the time of the transaction. Arthur Staple of The Athletic announced the deal Monday afternoon.
#Isles announce they've traded RFA D Devon Toews to COL for 2021 2nd and 2022 2nd round picks.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) October 12, 2020
Islanders Trade Devon Toews
Toews had a very solid year for the Isles in 2019-20. He scored a career-best six goals and 28 points in 68 games while averaging 20:31 per night. The most recent year represented a huge jump in production as the former fourth-round pick scored five and 18 in 48 as a rookie in 2018-19. Toews was also a respectable possession defender with a 50.8 percent Corsi For and a boost to overall offence with a 6.1 relative Corsi. Some of his production may have been due to New York’s system but fans shouldn’t expect a significant drop in Colorado.
The Islanders originally selected Toews 108th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft out of Quinnipiac University. He only has 116 NHL games but has still posted 11 goals and 46 points overall. He also has 79 hits and 105 blocks, demonstrating some aptitude on the defensive side. Toews was also quite fine with New York’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, scoring 18 goals and 86 points in 130 games. He has met or exceeded expectations at almost every level.
What This Means for the Future
Toews should be on Colorado’s first or second defensive pairing in 2020-21. He is a left-handed shot so the most logical move would be to place him next to right-handed Cale Makar. That could result in Ryan Graves moving down a pairing but he showed strong chemistry with Makar last year. Regardless of where Toews lines up, this seems like a very savvy acquisition that doesn’t heavily impact the future.
The Islanders still have $8.9 million to spend but might be working on a trade to send defender Johnny Boychuk elsewhere. This first trade could be the start of several big moves in New York.