Welcome to the 2015 – 2016 Metro Division Season Primers.
After a first round loss in last years Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Washington Capitals, the John Tavares led New York Islanders will look to build upon their recent success. Often criticized for lucrative contracts and move that didn’t make a lot of sense, Islanders GM Garth Snow has created a great mix of veterans and younger players. The organization has given Snow a much longer leash than one would expect, but he has finally built a reputable team.
Notable Additions: G Thomas Griess,D Marek Zidlicky, F Kirill Petrov
Notable Departures: D Lubomir Visnovsky, LW Michael Grabner
John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Kyle Okposo, Nick Leddy and Johhny Boychuk are all going to be heavily relied on to produce this upcoming season as the team moves to Brooklyn. Moving into a new building is never easy, and these players will be relied on to go against some of the tough competition that follows in the Metro Division.
In order for the Islanders to take the next step in the NHL, they will need to focus on upgrading their 16th ranked Powerplay and their 26th ranked Penalty kill. These were catalysts in their loss to the Capitals last season and Head Coach Jack Capuno will need to figure out a way to get these special teams firing.
LW C RW
Brock Nelson (2.500) – John Tavares (5.500) – Ryan Strome (0.864, 0.850 Bonuses)
Anders Lee (3.750) – Frans Nielsen (2.750) – Kyle Okposo (2.800)
Nikolay Kulemin (4.188) – Mikhail Grabovski (5.000) – Josh Bailey (3.300)
Matt Martin (1.000) – Casey Cizikas (1.000) – Cal Clutterbuck (2.750)
Kirill Petrov (0.875)
Nick Leddy (5.500) – Johnny Boychuk (6.000)
Calvin de Haan (1.967) – Travis Hamonic (3.858)
Thomas Hickey (2.200) – Ryan Pulock (0.864, 0.500 Bonuses)
Brian Strait (0.775) – Marek Zidlicky (1.500)
Jaroslav Halak (4.500)
Thomas Greiss (1.500)
There is no denying that the strengths in this team lies in their potent offensive attack that saw them finish in the top 10 for league-wide scoring. John Tavares has developed into one of the best centers, and best overall players in the NHL. The offseason signing of 38 year-old Marek Zidlicky has consistently scored at a rate of 1.4 points per 60 minutes throughout his NHL career and the Islanders will look for him to continue at that rate after losing Lubomir Visnovsky this offseason.
This season, I envision the Islanders making the playoffs and a push into the second round.