Lou Lamoriello called for reinforcements.
The New York Islanders announced on Wednesday that they had acquired two of Lamoriello’s former associates during their time with the New Jersey Devils, negotiating with strikers Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac.
With everything in season, and rightly so, the Islanders will send back a first round draft choice this summer, a conditional fourth round selection in 2022, as well as prospects A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst.
New Jersey will retain the salary of both forward contracts to complete the deal.
Together, Palmieri and Zajac represent a substantial addition to the advanced fleet on Long Island, which has been without Captain Anders Lee for the past four weeks. ONE reliable scorer with more than 20 goals, Palmieri can fit into either of the two main lines and could form a partnership with center-star Mathew Barzal.
Lamoriello was involved when Palmieri was acquired by Devils, the club in his hometown. The initial cost in scoring forward was a second and third round pick in 2015 on a deal concluded with the Anaheim Ducks. Palmieri ended up scoring 140 goals in parts of six seasons, totaling 30 goals in his debut campaign.
Zajac, for his part, is a veteran pivot who can push Jean-Gabriel Pageau into the wing on the third row, or simply fill in if necessary between the last six. He has become more of a utility center over the years, but the veteran of more than 1,000 games, all played by New Jersey, has scored at a respectable rate this season, accumulating 18 points from 33 games.
This is the second time in so many seasons that Lamoriello rewards his team for a strong regular season, after swapping a choice in the first round draft last season to acquire Ottawa Senators Pageau. It also marks the second time that he acquired a Devils household name after bringing in Andy Greene to reinforce the blue line ahead of last season’s deadline.
New York is linked to Washington Capitals at the top of the NHL’s Eastern Division in 39 games.
The club continues to exceed many expectations after playing in the Eastern Conference final last summer.
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