The New York Islanders will enter training camp with a lot of forwards on the roster. It is a very crowded group which make one speculate does something have to give.
Currently, the New York Islanders have 15 forwards signed for the 2018-19 season. That is not counting any forward prospects.
This kind of roster crunch makes one speculate is something on the horizon for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders?
The easy choice for Lamoriello, Barry Trotz, and the Islanders is to have all the forward prospects that are close to being NHL ready start the year in Bridgeport, as well as someone like Ross Johnston.
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Most opening night 23-man rosters consist of 14 forwards. However, barring injuries that would still mean on a nightly basis two of the Islander forwards would find themselves watching the game from the press box.
It would create an intense competition from the Isles second-tier forwards and one would truly have to earn their nightly playing time day-in, day-out. That is the kind of standard that both Lou and Trotz want.
However, what if either or dare to say both Kieffer Bellows and Josh-Ho Sang show in training camp that they have to be part of the Islanders opening night roster. At that point as Sherlock Holmes would say “a trade is afoot”.
Both Bellows (19th overall in 2016 Draft) and Ho-Sang (28th overall in 2014 Draft) are both young dynamic talents that could be a major part of the Isles future core. Their potential should have the blue and orange fan base very excited.
The biggest thing these two talented kids will have to prove to Trotz and Lou during camp is regarding their play away from the puck. Last year the Islanders scored plenty of goals (7th in the league) but it did not translate to being a team that challenged for a playoff spot.
Bellows and Ho-Sang will have to show there are more sides to their games currently than offense if they are going to challenge for an opening-night roster spot. But if they do then what?
The amount of forwards the Islanders have should make camp very interesting. Also, will get the speculation rumor machine humming in high-gear.