|2015 Season||Cap Hit|
|To Long Island||POS||GP||G||A||P||2015||2016|
|Nick Leddy||D||0||0||0||0||$2.7 million||RFA|
"The New York Islanders... you need cap space, we've got space for you to take."
It might be a cheap way to make trades, but if that was the tag line today, it seemed to have worked for the Islanders. In a second deal in a matter of minutes to be confirmed, the Islanders acquired defenseman Nick Leddy from the Chicago Blackhawks for two AHL-bound defensemen and a goalie playing in Europe.
Leddy, 23, the big piece of this puzzle, is a good offensive minded defender, who skates well and has some potential to be a big minute player in the NHL. Last season, Leddy finished 48th among all defensemen in scoring with 7 goals and 31 points in all 82 games for the Blackhawks, providing them with reliable depth every night. This is the kind of thing that the Islanders are looking for out of Leddy, who could almost immediately make him into a top pairing player.
Pokka, 20, a Finnish prospect, who was a 2nd round pick in 2012, was in the process of heading down to the AHL on Saturday. His name came up in some preseason action, but the cut was made for him eventually.
Brennan, 25, has been bouncing around the NHL a bit in his career, thought he might have shot at a roster spot on the Island, but there was nothing doing there. He last saw NHL action in the 2013 season, when he played in 29 games for the Sabres, picking up 10 points.
Finally, Nilsson, 24, has seen some time with the Islanders since the 2012 season, after being a 2009 3rd round pick, winning 9 games over the last three seasons, including 8 games in the 2014 season. He remains unsigned as a restricted free agent, getting a deal in Europe to play.
The Blackhawks were the team in most need of cap space, heading into the regular season and Tuesday's roster finalization. With the Hawks sending down Teuvo Teravainen to the minors, adding Dan Carcillo via free agency and this deal, the Blackhawks still have 24 players on their camp roster, which is about $68,000 over the ceiling. In all likelihood, the team will send down one or two more players before Tuesday, making them cap compliant and they'll be close to their phone for any recalls in the future.
For argument's sake, the Islanders still have 31 players on their camp roster, including Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, who they acquired today, but if their projected 23-man roster, according to my notes is worth anything, the team still has over $8.8 million in cap space to work with.
Leddy is also a hockey pool participant this year, as he was taken in the 9th round by Wes, 200th overall. Wes has a pretty decent group of defenders on his team this year as well, including Trevor Daley of the Stars, Erik Johnson of the Avalanche and Ryan Murphy in Carolina. Leddy could post some big minutes on the island and put up some numbers, which would be huge for Wes this year.