VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Garth Snow insisted all along leading up to Monday’s trade deadline that he wasn’t going to surrender a first-round pick or any of the Islanders’ top forward prospects for any of the forwards available on the fairly sluggish market.
Snow still needed someone to add to the Isles’ forward depth, though. He did that without giving up too much, acquiring young forward Shane Prince from the Senators for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft.
Prince, 23, has three goals and 12 points in 42 games this season, his first in the NHL. He’ll be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Snow preferred to give up a mid-round draft pick to get someone younger and under the team’s control, rather than someone such as former Islander P-A Parenteau, who was rumored to interest the Islanders but was never on Snow’s radar.
“It’s not a rental situation in this deal,” Snow told Newsday just after 3 p.m. Eastern time, when the Isles completed their only deal of the day. “[Prince] is a player we feel can rotate up and down the lineup to different lines and has some untapped potential. He can help us now and hopefully in the future.”
The Islanders were in on numerous conversations during the past few days but were limited by not having their second-round pick in June and not having any B-level prospects who intrigued other teams. Snow’s top four under-20 prospects — forwards Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Michael Dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang — were off-limits when discussing a potential unrestricted free agent.
Prince, a native of Rochester, New York, who finally cracked the Senators’ roster this season after three years in the AHL, told TSN he is intrigued by his new home. “It seems to be a great opportunity to make an impact,” Prince said. “It’s kind of cool I’m back in my home state.”
Snow’s biggest concern during the final 22 games is getting his forwards going offensively. The Islanders scored only three goals in two games in Alberta on this trip, dropping an ugly 3-1 decision to the 30th-place Oilers on Sunday night. Adding Prince could push slumping players such as Ryan Strome (no points in five games), Brock Nelson (one goal in 12 games) and Josh Bailey (two points in nine games).
Mikhail Grabovski, out since last week with an upper-body injury, might return by Sunday’s game against the Rangers, giving Jack Capuano more options up front to sub for players who haven’t produced.
Snow had no interest in finding any outside help on defense. Ryan Pulock had a strong NHL debut in Sunday’s loss and Calvin de Haan (lower body) could be ready to play Tuesday night against the Canucks.
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