After a season decimated by injuries, it seemed Casey Cizikas would get back on track with a clean bill of health. Unfortunately, this past campaign was also dampened by injuries for the New York Islanders center. A season that also saw him post his lowest point total in three years.
In a salary cap league, every single contract is important. Just a couple of bad contracts here and there could put your team in cap hell. In the New York Islanders case, they have plenty of bad contracts.
Like Casey Cizikas and his $3.35 million deal through the next three seasons. When you’re paying a fourth line center over $3 million a year, you need him on the ice and contributing.
Unfortunately, that exactly what the Islanders weren’t getting. Thanks to some back luck with injury Casey Cizikas missed a bunch of time.
After a career year two seasons ago, we were hoping Cizikas would take that next step forward and deliver on some of the potential he had shown. Instead, the injury bug got to him and he has taken a couple of steps back.
This season, the forward played in 64 games and put up 17 points, seven goals and ten assists. These numbers were actually down from last years totals (8-17-25) despite playing in five more games. On top of that, Cizikas finished with a -12, a career low he hasn’t put up since the 2013-14 season.
A positive that Zeeker could take is that he had a career-best 53.09 faceoff percentage which led all Isles’ centers. Winning faceoffs is important, especially when the team is on the penalty kill. If Cizikas could keep building on his career 50.2% mark, it will give him another contribution to the team.
Is Cizikas worth his contract? No. But he is a very solid player that brings energy to the bottom six and stability to the penalty kill. It’s no secret the Islanders are at their best when their fourth line is doing their thing. Doing that starts with getting Cizikas back to the old Casey and keeping him healthy. After his performance this year, however, the road ahead is a long one.
Final Grade: C