In what appears to be one of the more surprising news updates so far this season, it has been reported and confirmed by New York Islanders beat writer Arthur Staple that the Islanders have traded forward Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Thomas Vanek.
When I first read this “rumor” on Twitter just a little while ago, I thought nothing of it, there was no way it could be true. But then I saw the tweet from Art Staple:
BREAKING: #Isles have traded Matt Moulson, their 2014 1st-round pick and a 2015 2nd-round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 28, 2013
What a blockbuster. Both forwards are the same age, but the Isles are losing a lot in the likes of Moulson. Both he and captain John Tavares had tremendous chemistry on the first line, now Moulson will be replaced by Vanek who is a little tougher and has the same skill set as Moulson.
In my opinion, the Sabres won this trade big time. The Islanders gave up way too much. Although next year’s draft class may be a little weak, Buffalo now has the opportunity to pick up two big rookies, and if their season continues on this downward spiral, they may be looking at a top-five overall pick.
Before the lockout-shortened season, Moulson had three straight campaigns where he scored 30 goals (2009-10: 30, 2010-11: 31, 2011-12: 36). Back in 2008-09, Vanek tallied 40 goals and in 2006-07 he had 43.
The Islanders picked up a great player in Vanek, and the New York Rangers will be the first team he faces on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum. He will be playing a tough defense with the likes of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, which is potentially the top shut-down pair in the entire League.
It will be interesting to see how this trade plays out for both teams, but in the end I think Buffalo will be the ones smiling when it’s all said and done.