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New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks Swap Some Draft Picks

The 2024 NHL Entry Draft is just over a month away and already we have a draft related trade to report. The New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks have decided to make a trade involving multiple draft picks. The details for the trade are as follows, the Islanders acquired a first-round pick (20th overall) and two second-round picks (54th and 61st overall) in the 2024 NHL Draft. In exchange from the Chicago Blackhawks, they will receive the team’s first-round pick (18th overall) and second-round pick (50th overall). While the timing is weird, the trade itself works for both sides. It works out, as neither team gives up much more than they received but did improve their own draft standing in some way. The 2024 NHL Entry Draft takes place on June 28th and 29th from the Sphere in world famous Las Vegas, Nevada.

The New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks Have Traded Five Picks All Told

General Manager Lou Lamoriello looks like he could be in the midst of a busy summer. The Islanders were successful enough this past season, finishing third in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division with 94 points. Conversely, with a five-game, first round defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, it figures change will come to the lineup. This move of swapping picks with the Hawks, comes on the heels of the Islanders signing KHL forward Maxim Tsyplakov to a cheap deal. Tsyplakov, 25, scored 47 points (31 goals, 16 assists) in 65 games last season with Moscow Spartak. He was brought in as young forward depth which they need.

What Does It Mean for Chicago

The Blackhawks have been acquiring assets for their rebuild after their fourth losing season in a row. Chicago gets to move up two spots in the first round of the draft and four in the second round. Furthermore, it only cost them one of their three second round picks to do so. After the trade, the Hawks still have eight picks in this year’s upcoming draft. This includes their best spot, the second overall pick. Rumours have been connecting them to defencemen Artyom Levshunov from Michigan State and Ivan Demidov a winger from Russia. After drafting Connor Bedard last year first overall, they will be continually looking to add to their young group of players again this year.

What Does It Mean for New York

For the Islanders this feels like a move that could potentially set up another move. One or both of these second round picks they acquired could be flipped into something else. The picks could be used to potentially offload a bad contract to create cap space. With a little over $6 million in space, before even factoring in their unrestricted and restricted free agent decisions, that’s not a lot of wiggle room. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and his $5 million cap hit next season come to mind. Coming off a year where he scored 33 points in 82 games, that is not good enough to justify paying him that much. It could come in the form of immediate help like a trade package for Nikolaj Ehlers.

Ehlers is in the last year of his contract and could potentially be moved this offseason. That would fill an immediate hole in the Islanders top six. Ehlers had another steady season for himself production wise. He appeared in all 82 games, but only averaged 15:52 of ice time. Despite the lack of ice time, he still put up 25 goals and 36 assists for 61 points. Lamoriello may have to act fast if he wants to grab a player of Ehlers calibre, as there will be many other suitors vying for his services.

Main photo credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports



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