The New York Islanders got a career year out of Casey Cizikas in 2018-2019. Even Casey Cizikas didn’t expect the season that he produced.
One of the first moves that Lou Lamoriello made as General Manager of the New York Islanders was trading for Matt Martin. Bringing back Matt Martin was likely going to make both Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck feel more comfortable but nobody knew that it would be the Casey Cizikas coming out party.
Before the year started, I predicted that Casey Cizikas would have a career year. As someone who was high on Cizikas before the year started he even blew my expectations out of the water.
After back to back injury plagued seasons the Islanders were banking on Cizikas to remain healthy. For the most part, he did. He played in 73 games which is the second most in his career (he’s hit 80 twice).
Defensively, Cizikas was a great penalty killer and one of the more reliable defensive forwards. He also was fairly okay on faceoffs winning 49.1 percent, leading the way for Islanders centers.
On the offensive side of things, he was perfect. If a fourth liner gives you 20 points you usually take it because their role is to help out more defensively. Well, Casey had 33 points including his first career 20 goal season.
Before this year he hadn’t reached double digits in goals. Usually, he falls somewhere between seven and nine goals in a season. Not this year, he had a career-high in goals before the new year even came around.
The playoffs were a little bit different for Cizikas. Yes, he was a big part of shutting down the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first series but his lack of offense was noticeable in the playoffs. He didn’t record a point in eight games.
Even with a weaker postseason, it’s still an easy decision on the grade. I’m giving Casey Cizikas an A+ for his season. There is literally nothing more you could’ve possibly asked from him, he was the perfect player for the Islanders in his role.
Spoiler alert, if the Islanders wanted, they could totally have Cizikas take over as the third line center if they wanted to. If he’s giving you that kind of offensive output with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck just imagine what he could do with some more scoring upside.