The New York Islanders have acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Matt Moulson, a first round draft pick in 2014 and a 2015 second round pick.

Vanek, 29, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013-14 season. In 13 games this season he has scored four goals and added five assists.

The Austrian is in the final year of a seven-year deal he signed with the Sabres prior to 2007-08 worth an average annual value of $7.142 million.

"We had opportunity to acquire an elite player and given where we are right now (.500), you go for it," Islanders general manager Garth Snow told TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.

"If we hadn't drafted so well, if we didn't have good prospects, we couldn't afford to take the risk," Snow told McKenzie on the steep price the Islanders paid to acquire Vanek.

The Islanders had not held contract extension discussions with Vanek prior to acquiring him.

Vanek's agent Stephen Bartlett told McKenzie that his client is "excited to be an Islander."

"We'll take it day by day and focus on the short term for now and see where we are at season's end," Bartlett told McKenzie..

Vanek has scored 254 goals and 243 assists in 598 career NHL games, all with the Sabres. He has eclipsed the 30-goal plateau on four occasions, including a career-high 43 in 2006-07. The Sabres originally selected him fifth overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Moulson has scored six goals and three assists with the Islanders in 11 games so far in 2013-14. He, too, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

He is in the final season of a three-year deal worth an average annual value of $3.13 million.