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New York Islanders Predicting Who Gets Third Center Role

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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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 20: Tanner Fritz #11 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils during a preseason game at the Barclays Center on September 20, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tanner Fritz

In the offseason, the New York Islanders signed Tanner Fritz to a two-year deal. Year one is a one-way deal with a $700,00 payout. Year two is a two-way deal with a $ 250,000 payout.

To me, that means Fritz is expected to play at the NHL this season.

The center didn’t necessarily have a great season at the AHL level with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. His 37 points in 57 games isn’t a terrible return, but consider that Fritz scored 38 points in 35 games two seasons ago and it doesn’t look as good anymore, does it?

Fritz plays a safe game with and without the puck, which is exactly what the organization likes to see from their players. A Barry Trotz team typically spends a lot of time away from the puck. The Isles had a 47.85 CF%, ranked sixth-worst in the NHL. The Isles coaching staff want to know that when a player jumps over the boards they won’t do something risky.

Look, Fritz isn’t flashy. He’s not going to light the lamp at the NHL level. In 42 NHL games over two seasons, Fritz has eight points. It’s hard to see him putting up the same numbers that Valtteri Filppula did just a season ago.

He might be responsible away from the puck but his low offensive output should limit his chances at getting the spot. I know that the third-line isn’t supposed to be all-out offense, but it should be able to generate some offense. Tanner Fritz just isn’t an offensive threat.

With all that being said, he might just get the spot because they like his play away from the puck though.

Chance of taking the spot: 6/10

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