Islanders: RFA Jake DeBrusk could be a good fit for the New York Islanders

Islanders, DeBrusk
Jake DeBrusk hits the ice in game against Los Angeles. Photo By Dinur Blum

In the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins had selected three players in a row ahead of Mathew Barzal, one of them being Jake DeBrusk. If the Islanders were to make this move, the two of them will become teammates on the New York Islanders.

The Boston Bruins have hit a major crossroads as an organization. With Torey Krug possibly testing free agency and 43-year-old captain Zdeno Chara up for a new deal, which seemingly looks like it could be his last, the Bruins are in major help on defence.

DeBrusk, who is a restricted free agent who could potentially be looking at a ballpark amount of $5-6 million dollars, is a piece Boston could potentially use to help sure up the back end, especially because they have a deep forward core already.

The New York Islanders could help them out, as they are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Isles have a surplus of NHL calibre defensemen while having a lack of depth at the winger positions over the past few years. The Isles are also in search for a sniper who can contribute on the power play, and DeBrusk is that guy.

DeBrusk had a down year in 2019-20, scoring just 19 goals and 35 points in 65 games, but the key stat for the Islanders is his seven goals on the power play.

His seven power-play goals are nearly twice that of anyone else on New York’s roster, with Barzal, Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson leading the team with four, and he would fit seamlessly into that Isles power-play unit.

Looking at the advanced numbers, Jake DeBrusk ranks seventh in the NHL in GF/60 on the power play according to Evolving Hockey.

The Islanders are a team that likes to cycle the puck around and find the open shooter, which, during the Islanders playoff run, had always been Ryan Pulock, resulting in their strategy to become stale and predictable.

Adding DeBrusk, a player who knows how to get to the right spaces at the right times and possesses a lethal shot could add a new dynamic to the Islanders power play.

DeBrusk has shown he could produce at a high level before, scoring 27 goals and 42 points in 68 games in 2018-19, and if the Islanders utilize him correctly, he might even be able to spark an even bigger uptick next season.

DeBrusk could bring stability to a third line that didn’t have much of it throughout this season as well.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau has had a revolving door of wingers, so providing him with a linemate who can score consistently would be key for Pageau’s success as an Islander as well.

DeBrusk and Pageau could potentially feed off of each other and create one of the best third lines in hockey, depending on who the Isles decide to put on the right side of that line.

But how would the Islanders trade for DeBrusk?

The trade package would start with Nick Leddy, an offensive defenseman who can quarterback a power play (if operated correctly) and is a swift puck carrier.

With Torey Krug possibly leaving, the Bruins need someone to fill that role, and Leddy would be a perfect fit.

Leddy, however, isn’t valuable enough to get the deal done, so the Islanders could also add in a 2021 first-round pick and prospect center Otto Koivula.

Kieffer Bellows could also be another option in play for this trade if the package above isn’t enough for Boston to take the bait.

The Islanders’ forward depth proved to be a mess once their red hot second line cooled down in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Jake DeBrusk is definitely worth taking a look at for the New York Islanders.

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Photo credit: Dinur Blum(@Rabbi_d) via Flickr.


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