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