On April 8th, the Islanders made a trade for F Kyle Palmieri and F Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils instead of going after a player like Taylor Hall, who once won the Hart Trophy. The Islanders had a bunch of trade options, as they needed to add some new weapons to help replace Anders Lee, who went down on March 11th with a season-ending injury. So was it the right move for the Islanders to make?
Prior to Zajac and Palmieri being traded to the Islanders, Palmieri had 8G, 9A for a total of 17 points through 32 games with the Devils averaging 0.531 PPG, and Zajac had 7G, 11A for a total of 18 points through 33 games with the Devils averaging 0.545 PPG.
Now, with the Islanders Palmieri has 1G, 2A for a total of 3 points through 13 games with the Islanders averaging 0.230 PPG, and Zajac has 1G, 1A for a total of 2 points through 10 games with the Islanders averaging 0.200 PPG.
All the top 4 teams in the MassMutual East Division, that clinched a playoff spot, made a move at the trade deadline to better their team, so let’s see how their new additions are performing.
Taylor Hall was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Boston Bruins. Through 10 games with the Bruins, Hall has 5G, 5A for a total of 10 points, averaging 0.833 PPG.
Anthony Mantha was traded from the Detriot Redwings to the Washington Capitals. Through 10 games with the Capitals, Mantha has 4G, 2A for a total of 6 points, averaging 0.600 PPG.
Jeff Carter was traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Through 11 games played with the Penguins, Carter has 4G, 2A for a total of 6 points, averaging 0.545 PPG.
Both Palmieri and Zajac have combined for a total of 5 points, which is less than all of the other additions by the other top 4 teams INDIVIDUALLY! It is too late to say that the Islanders should have traded for Hall or any other player obviously. The Islanders need to use what they have to their advantage, and Palmieri and Zajac need to start contributing. Travis Zajac has been a healthy scratch twice now due to his lack of production, but Kyle Palmieri has played in all 13 games, why? Well, Palmieri is a threat on the power play scoring his first and only goal as an Islander on it, and has done a great job on the forecheck.
Yes, sometimes it takes longer for players to adjust to new teams, but both Palmieri and Zajac are extremely experienced, and are now on a team that is top 10 in the league as opposed to bottom 5. Last year, when Jean-Gabriel Pageau was traded to the Islanders, in his first 7 games he only found the back of the net twice with zero assists averaging 0.285 PPG. As soon as playoffs came around, Pageau found his groove with the Islanders. Hopefully, that is the same story for Palmieri and Zajac.
At the end of the day, the Islanders need more from Palmieri and Zajac especially now more than ever with playoffs around the corner.
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