Michael Grabner can be a key component of the Isles' bright future if he pans out.
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN via Twitter, the New York Islanders have claimed right-winger Michael Grabner off waivers from the Florida Panthers.
Grabner was seen as one of the main components of the trade that brought Keith Ballard to the Vancouver Canucks. He was expected to make the offensively challenged Panthers out of camp. However, he did not impress and instead of sticking around, he was waived by Panthers management who had hoped that no one would take a flier on him.
Grabner, who just turned 23 today, turned some heads last season when he scored five goals and 11 points in 20 games with the Vancouver Canucks. The Danish forward had been one of the Canucks' top prospects and was expected to be a top-six winger, but with the emergence of winger Mason Raymond, he became more expendable and was traded along with Steve Bernier and the 25th overall pick in 2010 for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich.
Now that Grabner has arrived on Long Island, he will have all the support and opportunity to succeed. With Kyle Okposo out for a few months, the Isles will be looking for some extra scoring and Grabner can provide a lot of that especially if he clicks with Isles No. 1 center John Tavares.
If Okposo comes back and has a breakout season and Grabner pans out to be a top-six forward this season, the Islanders will have a legitimate top-six that can contribute for years especially with Tavares and Bailey down the middle.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
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