Islanders acquire Braydon Coburn, add blue-line depth

Braydon Coburn Islanders
Braydon Coburn
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after their victory over the Rangers on Sunday night, the New York Islanders announced they acquired veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Ottawa Senators for a seventh-round draft pick in 2022. 

The 36-year-old Coburn is in his 16th NHL season, appearing in 980 career games with the Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning before he was traded to the Senators prior to the start of the 2021 season. 

Coburn spent five-plus seasons with the Lightning from 2015-2020, playing 74 games for a team that won the President’s Trophy in 2019 and 40 the following campaign when Tampa Bay ultimately won the Stanley Cup in the Edmonton bubble. 

While he’s appeared in 137 career playoff games, he appeared in just five over the last two seasons.

Coburn will not be penciled in the Islanders’ three defensive pairs, but his acquisition does provide more depth heading into the stretch run before the playoffs. 

“In Braydon Coburn, what we get is an experienced defenseman who has size and strength, who’s played in this division when he was with Philly, so he knows a lot about it,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said on Monday. “He has tremendous character, knows his role, and accepts it. We couldn’t be more delighted to get him.”

For the most part, their defensive core has remained intact for most of the season, but Noah Dobson’s run-in with COVID-19 provided a nearly-two-week absence that exposed the lack of stable depth.

Sebastian Aho didn’t do much with his chance while Thomas Hickey performed admirably in his two-year wait to return to the Islanders’ lineup. But if multiple injuries were to hit — and the aggression within the play will only increase as we approach the playoff push — the Islanders’ blueline would have been in a difficult spot.

Coburn at least ensures that if the roster suddenly wears thin, there is an experienced defenseman that can step in and keep things afloat.

Lamoriello added that Coburn left from Ottawa on Monday and is driving to New York where he will then have to complete a state-mandated four-to-five-day quarantine before he can join the team.