Islanders acquire Thomas Vanek from Sabres for Matt Moulson and Draft Picks

On Sunday night the Islanders made the first major trade of the season by sending Matt Moulson, a 2014 1st round and 2015 2nd round draft choices to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for another scoring ace Thomas Vanek. The trade was first reported by Newsday’s Arthur Staple via Twitter.

Matt Moulson, a fan favorite who has been a key piece in the Islanders core over the last 4 seasons leading the team in goals in 3 of those season but GM Garth Snow wasn’t satisfied with the play of the team and felt change was needed. The Islanders have a record of 4-4-3 for 11 points and 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division as the first month of the season is almost concluded. The other factor involving Moulson, he is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and money could’ve been a factor in regards to what he is looking for and what needs of the team will be plus what they feel he is worth. Moulson has 6 goals and 3 assists on the season so far. (Photo Credit- bridgetds/Flickr)

To the Islanders comes Thomas Vanek who spent his entire NHL career with the Sabres until now. On the season he has 4 goals and 5 assists. One of those goals came on the powerplay in the Sabres first visit to Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders earlier this month. Like Moulson, Vanek is in the final year of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. According to reporters, no contract discussions have begun for a Vanek extension according to his agent Steven Bartlett. (Photo Credit- mikelynaugh/Flickr)

Over his 9 year NHL career, Thomas Vanek has 254 goals and 243 assists in 598 games. The 6-foot-2, 217 pound forward has played in 36 Stanley Cup Playoff games, totaling 20 points (15 goals, five assists). He was the Sabres first-round pick at Number 5 overall at the 2003 NHL Draft. Adding Vanek and his veteran presence is a major upgrade but the question on his shoulder for the remainder of the season will be is he here for the long term or just a short term rental? It sure will be exciting to watch John Tavares play with a winger of his caliber.

There has been no confirmation yet on Vanek’s game status for Tuesday night when the Islanders host the Rangers at the Coliseum but it will build more hype on the first meeting of the year between the two rivals.

-John Santamaria

Follow me @JSantamariaNY and follow us @TCLIsles