Thomas Vanek Trade: Buffalo Sabres Ship Playmaker To New York Islanders

Thomas Vanek is off the trade block after the Buffalo Sabres shipped him to the Islanders, part of the team’s rebuilding process.

The trade was announced Sunday night, with the Sabres sending Vanek to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Matt Moulson, a first-round draft pick in 2014, and a second-round pick in 2015.

Both Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson are in the final years of their contracts, and both bring a scoring punch. Moulson topped 30 goals three times for the Islanders, including a career-high of 36 in 2011-12. He signed a three-year, $9.4 million contract with the Islanders before the 2011-12 season, with a salary hit of $3.13 million this year.

Vanek has been the most consistent scorer for the Buffalo Sabres in recent years, reaching the 40-goal plateau four two times. In 38 games last year he scored 20 goals, but has just four this year on an offensively challenged Sabres team.

He will now skate alongside a growing number of playmakers on the Islanders, including Michael Grabner and John Tavares. The Islanders are looking to become a factor in the new Metropolitan Division and with Vanek could become a real threat.

Meanwhile the Sabres have made it clear that they’re in rebuilding mode, and at 2-10-1 this season are looking to have a high draft pick of their own along with the one they acquired from the Islanders.

Thomas Vanek leaves the Buffalo Sabres as one of the top scorers in franchise history. He recorded 254 goals and 497 points in 98 games with the team.