The New York Islanders are squandering a season that started off so well. So now we have to look towards the future. And that’s Linus Soderstrom. Who returns to the ice following injury.
One of the New York Islanders biggest issues this season has been goaltending. The tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss have been far from reliable for large portions of the season in 2017-18.
Don’t get me wrong. They haven’t been bad all year long. Jaroslav Halak has certainly rebounded from a terrible start to the season. Firmly establishing himself as the New York Islanders starter. I, unfortunately, can’t say the same about Thomas Greiss.
With a 0.909SV% and 3.22 GAA Halak hasn’t been “good”. But he’s the best we’ve got. And to be fair, the team playing in front of him is largely to blame for those bad numbers.
But at the end of the 2017-18 season, Jaroslav Halak will be out of a contract. His four year $18 million deal comes to an end. And it would be hard to imagine a scenario where the New York Islanders extend the 32-year-old Slovakian goalie. So who takes his place?
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In Comes Linus
With Jaro out in 2018-19 that leaves a large hole int he Islanders roster. They don’t have a starter. After what we saw this season, we can all agree that Thomas Greiss is still going to be the backup. Hopefully, he’s back to his 2015-16 or 2016-17 form by then.
In the 2017 offseason, the New York Islanders signed their 2014 fourth-round draft pick Linus Soderstrom to an entry-level contract. Tomorrow, Soderstrom gets back to the ice after missing a chunk of time recovering from surgery.
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He’s just coming off a season where he led Swedish Hockey League side HV71 to the Le Mat Cup. He broke Henrik Lundqvist’s regular season goals-against average record of 1.45GAA with a 1.34GAA. He also put up an insane 0.934 SV% with an 18-4 record. The 6’4″ Swede has some serious pedigree.
With Halak gone in 2018-19, there’s no reason to think that Soderstrom won’t be taking the trek over the Atlantic to join the Islanders.
I know that everyone has Ilya Sorokin on their minds. If you don’t he’s the Russian goalie the Islanders drafted in the third-round of the 2014 NHL draft. But after signing a three year deal with CKSA Moscow just this offseason, there’s no way he’s coming over.
The Islanders could have gone out to address their future in nets at the trade deadline. With Petr Mrazek going to Philadelphia for two conditional picks, he could have easily been had. Robin Lehner from Buffalo was likely available for the right price as well.
But the fact that Garth decided not to make a move is telling. That’s right, even if you chose not to decide, you’ve still made a choice. Thanks, Neil Peart.
Garth likely has faith in what is coming up for the Islanders between the pipes. So he decided to keep all his picks and prospects and stick with what he’s got. And that could work out just fine based on what we’ve seen from Linus Soderstrom so far in the SHL.
That’s two pieces now today where we here at Eyes On Isles are looking towards the future. Tells you how the season has gone when we’re talking about the future at the start of March.