The New York Islanders only have six defenders on the roster going into 2018-19. Devon Toews should be number seven. Should be.
With only six bluelines on the 23-man active roster according to Cap Friendly, the New York Islanders will likely add a seventh before the start of the 2018-19 NHL season. Who that player might be remains a question mark.
It absolutely should be Devon Toews. The 24-year-old former fourth-round pick in 2014 has outgrown the AHL. He belongs in the NHL. But with a significant shoulder injury that kept him out of the Sound Tigers lineup for most of the 2017-18 season, he might find his way to the AHL again.
So will, Devon Toews play half a season for the New York Islanders in 2018-19?
I think so. Smash the over on this.
The New York Islanders are trying to learn what they have in the team and in the system. That’s why Brock Nelson only got a single year deal. And it’s why Devon Toews only got a two-year deal.
Like Nelson, the Islanders management isn’t sure what to expect with Devon Toews. They know he’s outgrown the AHL with 67 points in 106 AHL games over the last two seasons.
If not for that shoulder injury Toews would have been in the NHL last season when Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan were themselves out with injuries. The Islanders aren’t going to learn anything more by having Toews play in the AHL in 2018-19.
Toews has had a full seven month to heal from his shoulder surgery. He was skating in March (subscription required) and was going to be ready to go in the summer.
A position on the New York Islanders blueline will be Toews’ to lose. I’m sure the Islanders will bring other options to see at training camp. But if Toews has a good camp, he should be on the team.
With all that time to rehab, and from what we know and saw from Toews at the Isles training camp last season, he should nab that spot. Devon Toews should be the seventh defenseman for the Islanders in 2018-19.
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Devon Toews will make the Isles in 2018-19. He might not start right away, but he’ll work his way into the lineup, and based on what we know of his play, he’ll be a mainstay after that.