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2018-2019 NHL Preview: New York Islanders

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Life looks bleak in the post Tavares era.

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Third up are the New York Islanders who are in their 46thyear as a franchise. They have not made the playoffs in the last two seasons falling just short each time.

Basic Stats:

2017-2018 NHL Standings: 22nd

2018-2019 Projections
NHL 29th
Eastern Conference Standings: 16th
Metropolitan Division Standings: 8th
Goals for Rank: 8th
Goals against Rank: 31st
PP Rank: 6th
PK Rank: 31st
Coach: Barry Trotz (762 – 568 – 60) .564

Overview:

I flip flopped on my view of the Islanders over the last two weeks. First they got Stanley Cup winning Barry Trotz, then they lost franchise star John Tavares. 27 year old John Tavares who has played 669 games with the Islanders since being drafted in 2009. He sits 7th in franchise list in goals (272) and 5th in points (621). That is not something that is easily replaced. One can believe the Islanders will be marketing Calder winning Mathew Barzal heavily. For a team that was 6th in power play goals, John Tavares scored 23% of those goals and had a hand in 56% of those. Their defense needs a lot of work, they allowed the most shots against in the league last year (as well as the most goals against. Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk are among the worst top two defenseman in the league. Jaroslav Halak gave no help behind them in net with a 3.19 GAA and a .908 SV %. Out is Jaroslav and in is Robin Lehner who had a 3.01 GAA and a .908 Sv %. I anticipate their goals against remains in the bottom five and their goals for goes into the bottom half of the league.

Major Additions:

Barry Trotz (Coach)

Major Subtractions:

John Tavares, Calvin de Haan, Jaroslav Halak

Prospects and Picks:

-Kieffer Bellows. Taken 19th in the 2016 draft, Keiffer spent a year at Boston University where he had 14 points. He moved to the WHL last year scoring 74 points in 56 games. It’s clear his game is developing and is not shying away from an aggressive style of play willing to fight for the puck. He can certainly work his way onto the roster where he could be in the top six although, I anticipate he comes up later on this year after some time in the AHL.

-The Islanders made out like bandits in the NHL Draft. First Oliver Wahlstrom, who some had as a top 10 pick fell to them at 11. This wasn’t too much of a stretch but Noah Dobson, who many had as a top five pick, fell to them at 12, this is a great value. Noah scored 69 points across 67 games in the QMJHL last year and there is an outside chance he could crack this weak defensive lineup this year.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Michael Dal Colle. Prospect and up and coming player had 24 points across 60 games with the AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound last year. Michael to me has 30-40 point potential for a deep league. Unfortunately with Tavares gone, a lot of offensive upside left with him leaving not too many fantasy sleepers on this team. A lot think he is going to be a bust but i’m not giving up on him yet and think he can surprise some people under the right circumstances where he can shine in front of the net.

Cap Situation:

$47MM Spent; $29M in Cap room; 13 players signed; average team age 27

Poll

Do you think the Islanders will finish in the top 20 during the 2018-2019 Season?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Yes they will be a top 20 team
    (12 votes)
  • 60%
    No, they will be a bottom 10 team
    (18 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now