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Reports: 'Aggressive' Islanders pitch top-UFAs Matt Niskanen and Brad Richards

Andy Marlin / USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders do not own their first overall pick at the loaded 2015 NHL Entry Draft because general manager Garth Snow traded it to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a few months of Thomas Vanek. Now, the Islanders are clearly committed to ensuring that the Sabres don't use that pick to select a player like Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.

The Islanders have been extraordinarily aggressive on the first day of the free agent interview period, ESPN's Katie Strang reports. Newsday's Arthur Staple adds that Snow is "believed" to have reached out to top unrestricted free agents Matt Niskanen and Brad Richards in an effort to upgrade the roster for next season.

That Snow is all-in on unrestricted free agents isn't a huge surprise, particularly with the way he's behaved since New York's season ended. Already this offseason, Snow has traded for the negotiating rights to Jaroslav Halak (who Snow got signed) and Dan Boyle (who Snow probably won't get signed). 

Either way, the Islanders are poised to be major players in free agency. 

[H/T Pro Hockey Talk]

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