The New York Islanders have acquired forward Kyle Palmieri and veteran center Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, First-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft. If the Islanders make the Stanley Cup Finals, the fourth-round pick would become a third-round pick in 2022 or 2023. New Jersey has agreed to retain 50 percent of both Palmieri’s and Zajac’s contract leaving leeway in the Islanders cap space.
We all knew a trade was inevitable, due to the season ending injury of Islanders captain Anders Lee. It was just a matter of time until Lou decided to pull the trigger and that trigger was pulled tonight. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac are players that know how to play Islanders hockey and they’ll certainly fit the mold. Palmieri and Zajac know Lou Lamoriello very well as the two played for New Jersey while Lou was the Devils GM. Lou makes trades that make sense for the team and this one certainly made sense.
Kyle Palmieri is someone who is as consistent as they get. Palmieri has scored 25+ goals for the past 5 seasons and during that span he became one of New Jersey's most valuable players. Palmieri who is a local boy, as he grew up on Long Island couldn’t wait for the move to happen. Although Palmieri has gotten off to a slow start this season his abilities will surely reach their full potential as he is expected to play alongside Mat Barzal and Jordan Eberle on the top line. Acquiring someone like Palmieri allows the Islanders and Coach Trotz to be very flexible with their lines and that is something that every team would love to have. Palmieri will certainly be a good fit and can’t wait to see what he has in store.
Palmieri stated “When I got that call tonight, it was really difficult to contain the excitement to join this team and this organization.”
Travis Zajac is someone that screams New York Islanders hockey. The 35 year old veteran forward is known for his impeccable two-way game that brings both offense and defense to the lineup. Zajac spent all of his 15 year career with the Devils and was someone you could count on night in and night out. Zajac uses his 6’2 frame to his advantage and is always in the right positions on offense and defense. He was dubbed as a defensemans dream as he is willing to do everything to not only score goals but stop goals from happening. Zajac will most likely slot into the third line winger or center role. This is all up to Coach Trotz as J.G. Pageau is currently the third line center but he is capable of playing on the wing. Zajac will be crucial come playoff time as he is a leader and can be an amazing locker room presence. Zajac like Palmieri can’t wait to get started as he had to waive his no movement clause in order to join. Zajac is an amazing addition and Lou Lamoriello had outdone himself with this one.
Zajac stated during his press conference “At this point in my career and where I’m at, I wanted a chance to win, and I just believe this is a team that has all the aspects of a winning hockey team.”
Islanders Projected Forward Lines
Palmieri - Barzal - Eberle
Beauvillier - Nelson - Bailey
Pageau - Zajac - Wahlstrom
Martin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck
What are your thoughts on this Blockbuster Trade?