The New York Islanders traded two second-round draft picks and a conditional third-round pick in 2015 to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Johnny Boychuk, and dealt defenceman Ville Pokka, defenceman T.J. Brennan and the rights to goaltender Anders Nilsson to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Nick Leddy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terrific moves by Islanders GM Garth Snow. In one Saturday afternoon, the New York Islanders blueline significantly improved for this season. Boychuk is a solid all-around defenseman who will provide experienced skills and leadership to a young Islanders defense corps, while the 23-year-old Leddy is a smooth-skating blueliner with upside.
It remains to be seen if the Islanders can retain Boychuk beyond this season, as he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency Leddy, however, is a restricted free agent this summer who should have a long-term future with the Isles.
Bruins management undoubtedly didn’t want to part with Boychuk, but given their limited cap space, the expense of retaining Boychuk beyond this season and with several promising young players close to cracking the lineup, they had little choice but to move him in a cost-cutting deal. His absence will be felt in the short-term.
As for the Blackhawks, they were obviously unwilling to part with Johnny Oduya this season, preferring to retain him (even at the risk of losing him to free agency next summer) for another push at the Stanley Cup this season.