New York Islanders: 5 Choices For The Next Captain

By Matt O'Leary
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Anders Lee /
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new york islanders
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 16: Johnny Boychuk /

Johnny Boychuk

Why Him

Johnny Boychuk seems like a natural leader of men. He’s one of the most vocal players on the ice. We’ve seen how he’s constantly communicating with his teammates when MSG mic’d him up last season. And he’s a big presence in the dressing room.

In the post-Tavares era, that exactly what this team needs. They need a vocal cheerleader to get them to form a cohesive unit. They need an anti-Tavares, a guy that will stand up in the room or on the ice and rally everyone.

On the ice, Boychuk won’t be the guy to wow his teammates with an unbelievable play like playing the puck with his stick behind his back like Tavares did. Boychuk will instead block shots, make big hits, or launch rockets from the blue line.

Boychuk’s leadership style would be the perfect anti-Tavares. Where he won’t just quietly lead by example through his play on the ice. His direct communication with his teammates would be a stark contrast from his predecessor.

Why Not

Injuries. Johnny Boychuk has never played a full NHL season in his entire career. Not one. Injuries have constantly cut Boychuk’s season short. That’s going to happen with the way Boychuk plays the game.

He seems to be feeling better now that at any point last year, which is great news for the Islanders going into 2018-19. But that still doesn’t change the fact that Boychuk has never played a full season.

Sure enough, a captain doesn’t always have to be on the ice. But he’s certainly more valuable when he’s around rather than not. Injuries are going to happen in a contact sport like hockey. But with Boychuk, an injury isn’t a possibility, it’s almost a guarantee.