The Islanders traded Michael Grabner to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Taylor Beck, Matthew Finn, Christopher Gibson, Tom Nilsson & Carter Verhaeghe.
Grabner was a healthy scratch in 13 of the Islanders final 18 games last season. After battling the effects from several nagging injuries that often hampered his break out speed, his production seemed to be in a steady decline, which lowered him on the Isles depth chart.
The additions of Finn and Verhaeghe were speculated as the lynch pin of the deal for New York.
Beck, 24, F played in 62 NHL games last season with the Nashville Predators, scoring 8 & 8 for 16 pts. Beck was selected (70th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Preds.
Finn, 21, D scored 1 & 2 for 3 pts in 28 games as a member of the Marlies in the AHL. Finn was the Leafs 35th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and led the OHL Guelph Storm to a title in 2013-14 with a +57 rating.
Gibson, 22 is a depth goaltender who had a 24-17-3 record with a 2.42gaa and a .921Sv% for the AHL Marlies last season. Gibson was the 49th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Nilsson, 22, D had 1 & 5 for 6 pts in 44 games in the AHL with the Marlies. Nilsson was Toronto’s 100th overall selection in the 2011 Draft.
Verhaeghe, 20, F was the Maple Leafs 82nd overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 33 & 49 pts in 68 games as Captain for the Niagra IceDogs of the OHL and has a gold medal in the 2013 U18 WC’s.
Of the players acquired, Staple mentions that none projected to make roster right away and it seems that they may have been contracts that Toronto wanted to off load to make room for other prospects in their system. While the moves do add even more depth to the Isles minor league system, it also adds almost $8M in cap space for New York after losing MG $3M cap hit for this season.
Is there another move to be made?
In other news, the Isles signed Steve Bernier to one-year, $750,000 deal. Bernier was brought into camp on a PTO, but looks like he may have been in the plan all along. He was security if Nelson wasn’t signed in the final hours last night and now seems to have secured a roster spot with Grabner’s departure.