After a productive eight-game stint on the wing, the New York Islanders are moving Derick Brassard back to center the third line.
The Islanders have been decimated with injuries to start the 2019-2020 season, especially to the forward group. Due to the laundry list of names who were unable to go, the Isles moved Derrick Brassard from center to wing.
In his first eight games with the Islanders, he had just one assist serving as the third line center. Despite the lack of production, Barry Trotz moved Brassard to the wing on the second line. To say it worked would be an understatement.
He scored in his first game on the wing and then followed it up with goals in four straight games after that (totaling a five-game goal streak). In eight games playing with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, Derick Brassard put up seven points.
Now, the Islanders are getting some guys healthy and it appears that Brassard will be moved back to his natural position of center.
With Brassard’s success, one can see the temptation of keeping him on the wing. Despite the veteran’s success with his new linemates, moving him back to center is the right call.
Having Brassard on the third line and putting Josh Bailey back with Beauvillier and Nelson only improves the depth on this team. Barzal, Nelson, Brassard, Cizikas down the middle is real solid and now the Isles get the veteran presence they strive for on that third unit.
What you have to keep in mind is the limited sample size. Yes, this season Brassard has been better with Nelson as his center but to just throw away a 12-year career at center after a couple of games is too much of a snap decision.
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He was brought here to be the third line center, and guys like Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, and Anders Lee are here to be top-six wingers. It’s as simple as that. He did a great job filling in temporarily, now it’s time for him to go back to what he was brought in here to do, play center.