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New York Islanders Daily: Otto Koivula Should Get Chance If Filppula Misses Time

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Otto Koivula #48 of the New York Islanders skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Otto Koivula #48 of the New York Islanders skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Valtteri Filppula left Monday’s game with an injury. If he’s out for a while, the New York Islanders should give Otto Koivula a shot with the big club.

During Monday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula left with an injury after his first shift. Filppula, who the Isles got on a relatively cheap one-year deal, has turned a ton of heads so far.

In 38 games, Val Filppula has 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) a pace of 41 points over a full season. That’s the perfect amount of production out of the 34-year-old third line center.

If the Isles knew before the season that they would be upset if Filppula missed extended time I would’ve believed it. He’s proved a lot of people wrong, and if he is out for a while the Islanders aren’t as good of a team.

If he is out though, I would love to see Otto Koivula get a shot at the NHL level. The 20-year-old center has 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) in 31 games with the Sound Tigers. When you consider his slow start and change of position, those numbers become even more impressive.

Koivula looks like he can be a potential bottom-six forward of the future. At just 20 years old it might be interesting to see what he can do on the third line with Leo Komarov and Michael Dal Colle.

Keep in mind, Dal Colle played on a line with Koivula in Bridgeport just this year. It was a quick rise from SM-Liiga to the AHL but a trip to the NHL might be in order for Koivula sooner than expected. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to see what the kid can do in the absence of Valtteri Filppula.

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