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New York Islanders: Top 3 In-House 3rd Line Center Options

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Casey Cizikas #53 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Casey Cizikas #53 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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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)

Option 3: Otto Koivula

Hey, some youth! Otto Koivula was selected by the New York Islanders in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Draft. He had a solid 2016-2017 in Finland which got the attention of the Islanders. He would play one more season in SM-Liiga before coming to the AHL.

Now, he was drafted as a wing but was converted to center in the AHL and it worked wonders. In 69 games, he had 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists).

With his body size, six-foot-five and 190 pounds, he seems destined for a bottom six role. He’s a big boy and he isn’t afraid to throw that thing around. He’s on the younger side, he’ll be 21-years-old, when the season starts.

Based on everything Lou Lamoriello has done as the Islanders GM points to waiting on Koivula despite an obvious need at center. But, playing in this hypothetical world let’s say he gives Koivula that shot.

Here’s what the Islanders could do:

Lines

Lee – Barzal – Eberle

Bailey – Nelson – Ho-Sang

Beauvillier – Koivula – Dal Colle

Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Next. Gusev can be a cheap pickup

Of these three options, Cizikas is the clear best. I could see the Islanders signing a Brian Boyle type of player though to fill that role, and I’m not sure that’s the smartest play. Of the in-house options, there’s not a whole lot of choices outside of these three.

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