Previously, we looked at specific unrestricted free agents that could be targets for the New York Islanders. Today, here are some others that could be great backup options if the likes of Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene head elsewhere.
Brett Connolly is almost the definition of a great under-the-radar signing. He’s 27 years old and is coming off a 22-goal and 46-point season. He was drafted sixth overall way back in 2010 so clearly, everyone saw his potential back then and now on a lower-money deal he could get the chance to realize it. He likely won’t command much based on the risk factor of only having one season of real production which could make him a great gamble to take. If he would be willing to take about $3M-$3.5M for three years, it could be a fit for the Islanders.
A trade deadline addition for Columbus, Dzingel had a breakout year that could set himself up well in free agency. Scoring 26 goals and 56 points in 78 games and at just 27 years old, it should be expected that several teams will be in contact with him. He did just have one point in nine playoff games but based on the lack of career production, it’s unlikely his AAV would be higher than $5M and you could predict it would be about five years.
After just one year in Carolina, it looks like Ferland could be headed to free agency and the Islanders should be at least a little interested. Producing 40 points for a second year in a row and adding both offense and physicality like few players do, Ferland could be a great fit in New York. He’s just 27 years old and at a deal if the AAV comes in around $4.5M or lower on a five-year deal, Ferland could be a great addition.
Based on the recent trade, Hayes could be on his way to a long-term deal with Philadelphia though it has been reported that the Flyers aren’t his first option. At just 27 years old (apparently like everyone else on this list?) and coming off his best season yet, he’s going to command at least a six-year deal, likely worth $6.5M per year or even more. Hayes could add center depth and is good for about 50 points per year, which would make for a good trio between him, Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson.
Johansson just completed a long playoff run with Boston where he had 11 points in 22 games. He’ll be 29 years old in October and can produce about 40-45 points per year. On a deal around $4.5M for five years, Johansson could be a good addition on the wing for New York.
A long-time Detroit Red Wing, Nyquist may hit free agency after a playoff run with San Jose. He totalled 22 goals and 60 points in 81 games this year, showing that even at 29 years old he may be worth a look in free agency. New York should be cautious though if they inquire about Nyquist− his stats could create some recency bias, as he’s historically only produced between 40-50 points per year. He could command a four or five-year deal but if the price is low enough, he could be a good addition to the Islanders' middle-six.
Like I previously wrote about Joe Pavelski, Zuccarello isn’t necessarily a long-term fix though and at 31 years old, you’d only expect to see him get a three or four year deal. That said, Zuccarello had 40 points in 48 games this year between New York and Dallas and he also added 11 points in 13 playoff games with the Stars. A regular 50-60 point scorer despite the age, if the Islanders could get him on a deal worth between $5.5M and $6M, it might be a good backup option.