The Islanders do not have a pick until No. 72 next weekend, which will make the NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, a unique one in Garth Snow's 10-year tenure.
It's only the second time and the first time since 2007 that the Islanders do not have a pick in the top 15 of the first round, having traded this year's pick as part of the Matt Moulson-Thomas Vanek swap in October 2013.
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But that doesn't mean Snow will be quiet next weekend. In fact, one of the Isles' longtime core players could be in play when trade talks heat up on the draft floor.VoteIslanders 2016-17: Keep 'em or dump 'em?
Kyle Okposo, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $14-million contract, could be on the trading block, according to two league sources outside the Islanders' organization.
The 27-year-old wing has posted the best back-to-back seasons of his career, but Snow might not be interested in ponying up for a long-term deal for Okposo, who missed 22 games after emergency surgery to repair a detached retina in January.
Both sources indicated that nothing appears to be imminent. But with eight teams already committed to at least $63 million on a projected $71-million salary cap for 2015-16, player moves could come fast and furious during draft weekend, and Okposo's extremely modest $2.8-million cap hit could be enticing.
Snow would not discuss specific players, but he told Newsday he will be busy fielding and making trade proposals, either to move players or maneuver up the draft board with only a pair of picks among the first 100 selections at his disposal.
"There's a lot of different scenarios that could play out," Snow said. "There could be a trade where we acquire a first or a second. We prepare the same way for this draft that we have in past drafts, because you just don't know what's going to happen."
Four Islanders who have been part of the team's core are entering the final year of their contracts: Okposo, Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin. The Islanders have rebuffed offers for Nielsen and Martin in the past, and there's no indication Snow is looking to move either one.
Grabner, who is due $5 million in salary and carries a $3- million cap hit, is being actively shopped, according to multiple sources. He recently had a second sports hernia surgery after an injury-plagued 2014-15 in which the onetime 34-goal scorer had eight goals in 34 games. Those surgeries coupled with a sizable cap hit may make Grabner a tough sell.
Okposo's eye surgery could scare teams off, but he has produced 120 points the past two seasons. Okposo and captain John Tavares are close, as those two were with Matt Moulson, who was dealt less than a month into the final season of his contract.
It's not known what Okposo is seeking for his next deal, but given his age and production, it seems logical that he could be looking for as much as $7 million per season on a six- or seven-year deal. It also seems logical that the Islanders would want to get something back in a trade before letting Okposo go elsewhere for nothing in a year.
"Every contract has a last year to it, so I don't feel we have any pressure or timetable that a move has to happen this offseason," Snow said. "Every team has players with expiring contracts. If a move presents itself that will help both in the short and long term, we'll take a look at it."
Snow added six players via trade and free agency last offseason, a series of major moves that altered the Islanders' depth and talent level in a big way. They could use another top-line wing for Tavares -- or two if Okposo is moved -- and need a backup goaltender, but there won't be the slew of moves this time around.
"We're going to stay with the same template of building from within, and we need some of our younger players to take that next step," Snow said. "We want to see that natural maturation process and we expect improvements from within. I don't envision as many new faces come September that we had last year, that's for sure."
But one familiar face could be on the move.