New York Islanders Rumors: Is Kyle Okposo on the trading block?


Leading up to the NHL Draft, there haven’t been too many New York Islanders rumors until just recently.

Also on Empire Writes Back: Who was the best Islander of the year 2014?

More from Islanders Rumors

In the NHL Draft, the Islanders currently don’t have a draft pick until the 72nd overall due to the Thomas Vanek trade.

With no draft pick until the 72nd pick, Islanders’ general manager Garth Snow may be looking to make a deal involving forward Kyle Okposo according to

“There’s a lot of different scenarios that could play out,” Snow said to Arthur Staple of “There could be a trade where we acquire a first or a second. We prepare the same way for this draft that we have in past drafts, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Okposo has been a big part of the Islanders in recent years, as alongside John Tavares, Okposo has also emerged into one of the better scorers in the NHL. In the last two years especially, Okposo has become the Islanders’ second best player, as when Tavares was injured in the 2013-14 season, it was Okposo who stepped up.

In 2013-14, Okposo totaled 69 points, 27 goals, and 42 assists in 71 games. Last season, Okposo missed a big chunk of time due to a detached retina, but he still totaled 51 points in 60 games.

Okposo’s name is being placed on the trade block largely because of the interest he would draw with his low salary. Next season, Okposo would on be a $2.8 million cap hit, which for a player of his caliber is an absolute bargain. Okposo being in a contract year means its decision time for the Islanders, as they don’t want to let him walk for nothing if they don’t think they will sign him.

“Every contract has a last year to it, so I don’t feel we have any pressure or timetable that a move has to happen this offseason,” Snow said to Staple. “Every team has players with expiring contracts. If a move presents itself that will help both in the short and long term, we’ll take a look at it.”

Okposo isn’t the only main Islander in a contract season, as Frans Nielsen, Matt Martin, and Michael Grabner are all in the final years of their contracts. The Islanders are actively shopping Grabner, but after two hernia surgeries in the past year, and a large cap number, that won’t be easy.

The Islanders didn’t appear like they would be having as active of an offseason as last year, but an Okposo trade would certainly be a big shock.

“We’re going to stay with the same template of building from within, and we need some of our younger players to take that next step,” Snow said to Staple. “We want to see that natural maturation process and we expect improvements from within. I don’t envision as many new faces come September that we had last year, that’s for sure.”

The Islanders were very successful last season, but trading Okposo wouldn’t be a good message to send. There is no reason why the Islanders can’t improve a tiny bit and be contenders in the Eastern Conference next season. However, trading away the second best player on the team wouldn’t help them win any time soon.

Next: Should the Islanders re-sign Anders Lee?

More from Empire Writes Back