Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New York Islanders 2017-18 season preview



                 After two straight seasons of making the playoffs, the New York Islanders had a horrible first half of the 2016-17 season. A coaching change from Jack Capuano to Doug Weight led to much better play, but the Isles finished with 94 points, missing the playoffs by a point. That led to some major trades. they acquired Jordan Eberle, but traded Travis Hamonic. Here's a full look at their offseason.

               Notable additions: RW Jordan Eberle, G Kristers Gudlevskis.

               Notable subtractions: D Travis Hamonic, C Ryan Strome, G Jean-Francois Berube, C Mikhail Grabovski.

                             Forwards
Here are my projected forward lines.

Anders Lee - John Tavares - Jordan Eberle
Andrew Ladd - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier - Matthew Barzal - Josh Ho-Sang
Jason Chimera - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

After Lee broke out last year with over 30 goals, he is now a first line forward. Tavares needs a new extension, but it shouldn't stop him from playing. Nelson needs to have a good season, or could be traded. Ladd needs a bounce-back year also. That kid line could be electric, with Beauvillier having the most NHL experience with about two-thirds of a season. The grinder line returns with Chimera at the left-wing spot. Nikolay Kulemin and Stephen Gionta are the extra forwards. Alan Quine and Shane Prince are injured, but will add depth when they return.

                            Defensemen
Here are my projected defensive pairs.

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan - Ryan Pulock
Adam Pelech - Thomas Hickey

The "Ledchuk" pairing is very solid. Pulock didn't play at all in the NHL last year, besides one shift, but was outstanding in the AHL. Pelech just signed an extension, and should start. Dennis Seidenberg and Scott Mayfield are the extra defensemen.

                               Goalies
                     Thomas Greiss
                     Jaroslav Halak

Since joining the Islanders, Greiss has been a number one goalie. Halak had a bad last season, and will be Greiss' 1B this year. AHL goalies Christopher Gibson and Kristers Gudlevskis are the call-ups if there's an injury.

                               Prediction
The Isles positively impacted their already good team in the offseason. I think they'll make the playoffs in 2017-18.

2 comments:

  1. Nice preview. I agree with your statement on Nelson. The beginning of the year is make or break for him. If he starts slow yet again it's time to move on. He has decent size and a wicked shot but can't seem to put it together.

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  2. You have to switch Barzal and Nelson. Barzal w Ladd and Bailey much better; w Beau, Ho_Sand, and Barzal -- who, exactly, wins the Selke?

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