After a tough 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz will change things up with the roster. Tom Kuhnhackl will make his debut. How does that impact the current lines?
The four-year NHL vet with two Stanley Cup rings is well-liked by the organization. He’s a professional that can play well on both sides of the puck. They used Kuhnhackl in 36 games where he scored nine points. That was enough to bring him back for another year.
Assuming there isn’t an injury where is Tom Kuhnhackl going to slot in the roster, and who is coming out?
Tom In, Mike Out?
Cizikas and Leddy were both missing from practice on Thursday after needing maintenance days. So, assuming there isn’t another injury, that means someone is coming out of the 23-man active roster to make room for Kuhnhackl.
The immediate thought is Michael Dal Colle. The former fifth overall pick just hasn’t stood out for the Islanders so far. Given a top-six role by Barry Trotz, Dal Colle hasn’t exactly “run away with it”.
With the way that Anthony Beauvillier has played so far – two goals and two assists – and the Islanders needing to generate more offense it makes sense to get Beauvillier a more offensive deployment.
Next to Derick Brassard and Leo Komarov, Beauvillier is deployed mainly in the defensive zone with 56 percent defensive zone starts and 44 percent in the offensive zone. Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey enjoy 65.8 percent and 57.6 percent offensive zone starts, respectively.
Barry Trotz is naturally coy with his deployment and who is in and out. But you have to think the forward lines will look like so on Friday against the Hurricanes:
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We’ll have to wait till Friday to know what exactly Barry will do with his forwards. But the best guess is Michael Dal Colle tries to figure out his systemic issues from the press box for now.