Islanders Acquire Cal Clutterbuck from Minnesota
The Islanders have built the core of their young team through the NHL Entry Draft and this year they looked to continue that trend. GM Garth Snow added one NHL ready player on draft day this year, Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck was not drafted though, he was acquired through a trade with the Minnesota Wild. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Snow dealt a young and seemingly disgruntled prospect, Nino Niederreiter, to Minnesota in exchange for the gritty, hard hitting forward who can also produce offensively. Clutterbuck, a former teammate of John Tavares is a welcome addition to the Islanders roster who will provide the punch that can help elevate this team to the next level.
The Islanders now own the NHL hits leader over the past five seasons Matt Martin (2011 - 2013) and Clutterbuck (2008 - 2011). There is expectation for Clutterbuck to play opposite Martin on the Islanders fourth line this season, however Clutterbuck has enough offensive talent to be an effective third liner. He should earn more minutes throughout the season and could solidify the Islanders third line to maintain a balanced, hard working offense.
In his last full season (2011 - 12) Clutterbuck played in 74 games and mustered 27 points, but on top of his point production the Islanders will now have two lines that will terrorize the oppositions defense. Between Clutterbuck and Martin, John Tavares will have twice the protection as well as two forwards who will wear down the opposition, hopefully to the point that the Islanders will be able to completely out play teams late in games.
This trade can not be called a win or a loss yet, that will remain to be seen over the course of the next few seasons. One thing for sure is that the New York Islanders will not be a fun team to play against come October.
Possible 2013 - 14 Offensive Lineup*
Moulson - Tavares - X (Boyes, Briere, FA?)
Bailey - Nielsen - Okposo
Grabner - Strome - Clutterbuck
Martin - Cizikas - McDonald
-Should the Islanders feel Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome are NHL ready it is possible to see them look to ship Frans Nielsen for a valuable return and insert Strome into the 2nd line and Nelson into the 3rd.
*It is far too early to know for sure what the teams lines will look like, especially with FAs such as Lecavailier and Briere still available and their quest to find a number one goalie there are many things that could change.