With Anders Lee out for the season, there’s no doubt the New York Islanders will look to upgrade their forward group, in an attempt to make another deep playoff run. Heading towards the trade deadline, I’ll continue to examine a few different forwards that general manager Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders could look to add, with today’s article focusing on Kyle Palmieri.
Palmieri has seen his production dip with the New Jersey Devils this year, from his consistent 30-goal and 55-point pace (per 82 games) to just eight goals and 17 points in 33 games, a pace of 20 goals and 42 points per 82. That said, his shooting percentage is low right now, as is New Jersey’s shooting percentage while he’s on the ice. Palmieri plays the second-most minutes of any forward on the Devils behind only Jack Hughes, averaging 17:42 per game.
Given that he’s on an expiring contract and is already 30 years old, I would think any trade for Palmieri, as would be the case with a trade for Taylor Hall, would be purely a rental situation. While it would be nice for the Islanders to take on another forward with a bit of term to improve the top of their forward group in the years to come, it’s unlikely given the team’s cap situation.
Palmieri could be a fairly effective replacement for Anders Lee in terms of production. That said, scoring was still an issue for the Islanders with Lee in the lineup and if Palmieri is the replacement, New York is only breaking even. Palmieri’s ceiling isn’t as high as Hall’s would be and on a contending team, Palmieri realistically isn’t an ideal first-line forward.
The question in a trade for Palmieri becomes what would New York have to pay to get Palmieri and is the difference in price worth it to make a deal for Palmieri rather than going after Hall? We know it’s a buyer’s market and if the Islanders are looking to avoid breaking the bank for an upgrade, making a deal for Palmieri could be the way to go. That's not to say Palmieri will come cheap but in my opinion, the Islanders shouldn’t be willing to give up a first-round pick for him, based on the decline in production and the market right now.
Adding Palmieri would certainly provide a much-needed boost to the top of the Islanders’ forward group. That said, the Islanders have to consider whether bringing in Palmieri as their major addition would give them a strong enough forward group to truly contend in the playoffs.
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Should the Islanders look to trade for Kyle Palmieri?