The New York Islanders are riding high right now. They currently sit in first place in a stacked East Division. A few teams that are chasing them are Washington, Pittsburgh, and even Boston. One of the biggest storylines of the season has to be from Anders Lee. Lee is one of the most underrated power-forwards in the game. His big, physical stature makes him a pain in the ass to play against. That is why he is the captain of these New York Islanders.
Anders Lee was having a fantastic season to start off the young year. He managed to put up twelve goals and seven assists for nineteen points in 27 games played. With no fans in the stands, that is a pretty solid season to start off on. Those happy times vanished quickly. During a game against the New Jersey Devils on March 11, Lee suffered a terrible lower-body injury. The Injury is severe enough for him to potentially miss the rest of the season. Lee has now gone through surgery.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 17, 2021
Who Can Replace Anders Lee?
There isn’t anyone who can come in and bring the mentality and team spirit that Anders Lee has with the Islanders. In terms of skill players, there are quite a few. We saw last season that the Islanders are not afraid to make a huge splash at the trade deadline. They acquired long-time Ottawa Senators forward J.G Pageau and signed him to a six-year extension to boot. Who says they won’t do the same again this year?
Kyle Palmieri, New Jersey Devils
Kyle Palmieri has been on many of our lists for trade options for certain teams. He may not have the same physique as Anders Lee, but he can make up for it with his skill set. His cap hit is fairly decent for any team looking for a cheap rental. I would have to believe New Jersey would want a young prospect and a high pick (first or second-rounder) for Palmieri. The Islanders should be all in on this guy. He can certainly fill any void they have on the power-play as well as five-on-five scoring.
Palmieri would only be a potential rental for the Islanders. He is a UFA after this season is over. If the Islanders truly believe in this team (which they should), this is certainly a move they can make. A player like Palmieri with a player like Barzal? All hell might break loose. If they get in an overtime situation, it would be game over for their opponent. Barry Trotz would love a player like this, but only time will tell.
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks
This is an option that would be more than a rental. The Anaheim Ducks are sinking and they are looking to get younger. The promise in young forwards like Trevor Zegras and Sam Steel gives them more of an option to explore some trades. This includes Rickard Rakell. Rakell is a fantastic skater and puck handler. His contract expires after next season, so this is an investment instead of a gamble.
Rakell can play on the wing or down the middle. This makes him a perfect fit into any system. He can work the power-play and even block a shot when needed. It is an investment over a rental. although it is unlikely the Islanders go in that direction, the door is open to acquiring a guy like Rakell. he might be a perfect fit to replace Anders Lee.
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