The New York Islanders have very little cap space remaining and with Mathew Barzal still in need of a contract, we can bet that the Islanders aren’t done making trades this offseason. So how much would it cost to trade the most expensive player that the team would probably like to move, being Johnny Boychuk?
Looking at recent cap dump trades, the trades involving Patrick Marleau and Marc Staal stand out as comparables. Marleau was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Carolina Hurricanes last offseason, along with a sixth-round pick, in exchange for a first-round pick and a seventh-round pick. Marleau had one year left on his deal with a $6.25 million AAV.
The more recent comparable is Marc Staal, who was dealt from the New York Rangers to the Detroit Red Wings, in exchange for a second-round pick. Staal had one year remaining on his deal, which carried a $5.7 million AAV.
Marleau and Staal are similar to Boychuk in the sense that both can still take on roles at the bottom of the lineup but were on overpriced contracts. The biggest difference, however, is that Boychuk has an extra year remaining on his contract.
If Boychuk’s deal was one year rather than two, we can bet it would likely cost a second-round pick to move, however, that second year is certainly going to drive up the price. Remember, to summarize the market, Nate Schmidt was dealt for just a third-round pick and nobody was willing to take Tyler Johnson for free.
With that in mind, I wouldn’t be shocked if teams started by asking for both a first-round pick and second-round pick to take Boychuk, based on the term remaining and the market right now. Perhaps the Islanders could get Boychuk moved for two second-round picks but I think that’s probably the best-case scenario. Complicating all of this is the fact that Boychuk has a partial no-trade clause as well.
I’m not saying the Islanders should move Boychuk at that price, I’m just saying this is what it may take. If I’m Lou Lamoriello, I’d probably be looking to move Cal Clutterbuck or Leo Komarov instead, considering how much less it would cost. It’s likely that a single second-round pick would get one of those deals done. However, if the Islanders were set on trying to move Boychuk in order to clear as much space as possible, it’s going to come at a high price.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Do you think the Islanders will trade Johnny Boychuk before the start of the season?