The Islanders and Devils swapped minor league wingers on Sunday, with New Jersey sending Tyce Thompson to Long Island for Arnaud Durandeau.
The deal amounts to a change of scenery for both players, who had failed to stick with their respective NHL clubs at the age of 24.
Thompson, whose father, Brent, was the coach of the Islanders’ AHL club until this season and whose brother, Tage, plays for the Sabres, played nine games with the Devils over the past three seasons but had yet to be called up in 2023-24.
Durandeau had a four-game stint with the Islanders last season, but failed to make the team out of training camp and was stuck on the organizational depth chart.
The Devils waived Thompson, who is on a one-way, $775,000 contract, in early October but he was not claimed.
The Islanders did the same with Durandeau, who is on the same one-way salary as Thompson, around the same time.
The Islanders could, in theory, call Thompson up to be their 13th forward for Tuesday’s game in New Jersey if they plan on sending down Grant Hutton after the defenseman made a cameo in Saturday’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Flyers.
Hutton will likely not be needed on the roster once Mike Reilly joins the team after being claimed off waivers.
Thompson’s presence, though, may not be necessary if Matt Martin is ready to be activated off IR.
Lou Lamoriello said Saturday that Martin is “close” to a return, which would make the possibility of Thompson joining the NHL roster academic.