Report: Islanders Have Option of Deferring 2014 First-Round Pick in Thomas Vanek Trade If It’s In Top 10

Thomas Vanek, Tuukka RaskThe New York Islanders acquired Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday with the intention of bolstering their roster so the team could make back-to-back playoff appearances.

The Isles gave up top-six winger Matt Moulson, a first-round draft pick in 2014 and a 2015 second-round pick to acquire the 29-year-old forward, which is a high price to pay for an unrestricted free agent who could walk in the summer.

But if poor play, injuries or anything else results in New York going through a disappointing season, the Islanders can defer the first-round selection that was traded to Buffalo in this deal on one condition, per TSN.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun added Tuesday that if the 2014 first-round draft pick acquired by Buffalo in the deal ends up being a Top 10 selection in June, the Islanders would have the option to defer the pick to the 2015 draft.

The deferment option makes this trade a little less of a gamble from an Islanders perspective.

What are the chances that the Isles miss the playoffs this season and are in a position to get a top 10 pick? Right now, they are slim. New York currently sits in a second-place tie in the weak Metropolitan Division with 11 points, and the team has impressed with an offense that ranks eighth in scoring, the league’s second-best power play and an improved penalty kill with an 84.8 percent success rate.

As long as No. 1 center John Tavares stays healthy and starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov provides consistency in net, the Islanders should make the playoffs and not receive a top 10 pick in June’s draft.

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