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Islanders All Time Lists

Islanders Most underrated players ever according to fans

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 1: Stefan Persson #7 of the New York Islanders watches the play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 1, 1982. (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 1: Stefan Persson #7 of the New York Islanders watches the play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 1, 1982. (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images) /
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GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 18: Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 18, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Islanders defeated the Coyotes 3-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Adam Pelech

Percentage of vote: 13%

As I said, the demographic of my Twitter followers skews younger. But there’s a strong case to be made that Adam Pelech is one of the most underrated players for the Islanders.

Under Barry Trotz, defense is key. Keeping the high-danger areas clear is the most important aspect of his strategy and Adam Pelech is incredible at it. Just look at how clear the slot is when Adam Pelech is on the ice for 5on5 this season.

Since Pelech went down with a season-ending injury at the start of January, the Islanders went from a 25-10-3 (0.697 pts%) team at the top of the league to 10-13-7 (0.45 pts%) and out of the playoffs. It’s clear that without Adam Pelech, the Islanders can’t play that defense-first system.

Who’d of thought losing a defensive defenseman who carries a $1.6 million cap hit would be so vital to the success of a team.

Casey Cizikas

Percentage of vote: 13%

There isn’t a better fourth line center in the league at the moment. You can’t convince me otherwise.

Casey Cizikas‘s ability to kill penalties and to generate offense from defense is unmatched in the league. In 2018-29 Cizikas scored career-high 20 goals for the Islanders. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 20+ goal scorer with less than 50 percent offensive zone time. Justin Williams might have been the only one with 48 percent offensive zone time.

Cizikas had 37.6 percent offensive zone time in 2018-19.

You can say it was a fluke and that his 18 percent shooting rate wasn’t sustainable. But in 2019-20 he had ten goals in 48 games before an injury took him out for some time. That’s a pace of 17 goals over 82 games.

The Islanders clearly miss his secondary offense and his ability in the defensive zone. Just like Adam Pelech, Casey Cizikas is vital to this team and his contributions are often undervalued.

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