A new name has been added to the rumour mills recently. The New York Islanders RW Kyle Okposo. If true, the Flames should be calling Garth Snow.
The Islanders have two reasons to shop the 215 pound 27-year-old. First, the club has no picks in the top two rounds of entry draft this year. Secondly, Okposo is entering the final season of his current contract, after which he’ll likely demand a sizeable raise.
This second concern is significant because the Islanders are a budget team and entering a period where they will have to re-ink or replace Frans Nielsen, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Calvin De Haan.
Clearly, there’s a potential fit between the Flames and Islanders here. Okposo fills a desperate need for the Flames – a big, top-6 RWer under the age of 30. The Flames, in contrast, have four top-60 picks (and six top-90 picks) in this year’s draft, as well as a bevy of young prospects to offer the Isles.
Is Okposo Worth it?
There’s some fear that Okposo could be riding John Tavares coattails to above average scoring. Though he’s been in the league since 2009, Okposo only became a 60+ point player the last couple of seasons as a frequent line mate of Tavares’.
And while Okposo has always been a positive relative possession player, he’s never really shown to be a true play driver. Evidence suggests that he helps on the offensive side of things, but his team tends to give up more shots and goals when he’s on the ice as well:
This doesn’t mean he’s bad, just that he needs to be managed a bit more than a skilled two-way player. More o-zone draws and/or more ice time with a capable possession centre. On the plus side, his shot, goal and assist rates are all first liner quality:
Okposo should certainly be on the Flames radar. He instantly adds depth on a very shallow right wing and is in the sweet spot age wise at 27. There’s danger in him potentially leaving for free agency a year from now, but then the Flames have a whole season to evaluate and re-sign him if desired. Otherwise they have another good trade deadline piece.
If Okposo is available, my guess is discussion begins at the Flames 15th overall pick and go up from there.
What say you Flames fans? Would you trade for Kyle Okposo? If so, what would you be willing to offer in exchange?