New York Islanders 2017-18 Casey Cizikas Player Preview
By David Lazar
Garth Snow made headlines last offseason, extending Casey Cizikas to a gigantic five-year, big money deal. This season, Cizikas will look to live up to his contract and give the New York Islanders much-needed production from the center position.
Casey Cizikas battled injuries last season, playing in only 59 games for the New York Islanders. When playing, however, he was very effective for the Islanders, but he will still look to improve this season.
Scoring eight goals and notching 17 assists would put him on pace for a career high 35 points, and his +9 was also a career high. Additionally, he took on a larger role, playing 13:54 a game (also a career best).
While his Corsi was down without Matt Martin at his side, he still played very well with new left winger Nikolay Kulemin, to form a tough fourth line that caused opponents trouble.
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With the same linemates going into this season, Cizikas should have more comfort with the players he will be on the ice with for much of the year.
High Expectations for This Season
Coming off a great year, Cizikas will look to give the Islanders much needed depth down the middle. His $3.35 million per year contract could hurt the Islanders if they do not get a great season out of their fourth line center.
While it may be a difficult goal (pun intended), seeing Cizikas put up 12-15 goals and 35 points would be a wonderful achievement. He has never been much of a scorer, but he will be looking to help out in that category much more this season with Doug Weight now as coach.
He will still man the top penalty kill unit with Cal Clutterbuck, and will look to improve the Islanders mediocre PK numbers from last season.
It might be a lot to ask, but Cizikas will try to be one of the Islanders most useful players this season. His defensive skills, occasional offensive production, and penalty kill prowess will make way for a great year for Cizikas.
Staying healthy is key, but injuries have never been a theme in Cizikas’ career and I don’t expect that to start now. With a baby also on the way, Cizikas has something to play for off the ice.
All of these factors should come together to make sure Casey Cizikas has the best year of his career. The Islanders are going to need it, so let’s hope it happens.
Next: Storylines Entering 2017-18 NHL Season
If I had to predict exact numbers this year, a 30 point season with 10 goals is reasonable. This all depends on health, but I am confident that Isles fans will be satisfied with the production they get out of Cizikas this year.