Valtteri Filppula | C
It was an odd acquisition made even odder by the fact that he was given a full no-move clause on his single year $2.75 million deal. But Valtteri Filppula could have an impact for the Islanders as their third line center.
Sure, he’s 34-years-old, and sure his better days are behind him. No one expects Filppula to put up the 66 points he had in 2011-12 for the Detroit Red Wings. What we do expect is solid two-way play and somewhere between 30-40 points.
Exactly what the Islanders can use. It’s no secret that the Islanders third line was terrible last season. With Brock Nelson leading the third line it failed to contribute anything for months. They didn’t score and they didn’t control play.
Brock Nelson just isn’t a centerman. We’ve seen it for years how Brock fails to return defensively, ghosts in and out of games, and just seems to be disinterest on most nights. A simple thing such as a constant effort is hard to get out of Brock Nelson.
Because of that, the Islanders third line offered little benefit to the team. That will change in 2018-19. It’s not to say that thanks to Valtteri Filppula the Islanders third line will be the best in the league, or that it’s going to be hyper-productive.
But with Filppula down the middle, the Islanders have an actual centerman to lead the line. With Jan Kovar on the second line, the Islanders might have four capable centermen in the roster for the first time in a long time.