NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As they focus on making the playoffs for the second straight season, the New York Islanders were desperate for an infusion of offensive talent heading into Monday’s trade deadline.

General manager Lou Lamoriello delivered.

After being quiet at last season’s deadline and then watching his team come up short in the second round of the playoffs, Lamoriello took a big swing this time around, acquiring center Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators for a conditional 2020 first-round draft pick, a second-round pick in 2021, and a conditional third-rounder in 2022.

The 2020 first-rounder is top-3 protected, meaning if the Islanders finish in the Top 3 in the draft lottery they will get to keep the pick and instead give the Senators their first-round selection in 2021.

“First of all, we felt with our lineup, to solidify down the middle, we needed a center ice man, in particular a right shot and they are few and far between,” Lamoriello told reporters after the 3 p.m. deadline passed. “When you’re looking at a center you try to get a complete player who can play in all situations and certainly this young man fits the bill.”

Lamoriello likely paid the steep price because he had a good feeling he could sign Pageau, despite the fact that the 27-year-old was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

It turns out he had a really good feeling, because the sides quickly agreed to a six-year contract extension that will reportedly pay Pageau on average $5 million per season.

“To have a chance to be joining the team is such an honor for me,” Pageau said before boarding a flight to New York. “I couldn’t be more excited to join a team that’s going to be competing every year for playoffs or for a championship. I couldn’t be more excited as a player. That’s what we play for. That’s what prides us. That’s why I’m excited to go and be playing for them.”

Pageau will slot in at third-line center, but his role figures to be much bigger than that position’s ice time usually dictates. He is enjoying the best season of his eight-year career, already with a career-high 24 goals, to go along with 40 points, just three shy of his personal best, set back in 2015-16 with the Senators. He will likely play in all situations, most notably on the penalty kill.

The Islanders (35-20-6, 76 points) are going to need the offense, as they entered Monday’s action in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of ninth-place Columbus, despite being 23rd overall in goals scored. That said, New York is also just six points out of first place in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division, and has at least one game in hand on several teams in the running for a postseason spot.

The Islanders are next in action Tuesday night at home against the rival New York Rangers. Pageau is expected to be in the lineup.


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