Today, we take a look at the New York Islanders roster and rank them as either elite, good, average, or below average.
The past few days in quarantine I’ve been addicted to these tiermakers and have been making my own. Essentially, you can rank things based on different levels. So I decided to do it with the New York Islanders roster.
I took 27 Islanders from this season and decided to put them in as either elite, good, average, or below average. Elite is essentially the cream of the crop and reserved for the best of the best. Good is indicative of above-average NHL starters, average is pretty self-explanatory and below average is someone who could be easily replaced.
These are the results:
In the elite class, it is only Mathew Barzal. Barzal is far and away the best player on this team and the assumed face of the franchise after John Tavares’ departure in 2018. This year, Barzal had 60 points in 68 games which paced out over an 82 game season is 72 points.
Three straight years over 60 points and the only real threat at a point per game is enough to get him into the elite class.
In good, we have nine players. Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey, Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle, JG Pageau, Casey Cizikas, and Devon Toews are good NHL players. If this was two years ago, Brock goes in the average category with ease.
But as a reliable second-line center and back to back 50 point seasons is plenty to get him in the good category. Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Josh Bailey are all solid top-six options. If you’re a solid top-six option you’re good in my eyes.
Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech as the top-pair also get put in the good class. They are far and away the Islanders’ best defensemen. Casey Cizikas and JG Pageau are both excellent in their roles. You could probably make the case that they could be in average but due to them being one of the best at their respective positions, third-line center for Pageau and fourth-line center for Cizikas, they get bumped up to good.
As for Devon Toews, he finished with 28 points in 68 games. Over the course of his two-year career, he has 46 points in 116 games, a pace of 33 points over an 82 game season. Toews is maybe a little bit more projection base then what he’s done but I think he’s above average, and analytics tend to agree.
Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss, Nick Leddy, Anthony Beauvillier, Scott Mayfield, Johnny Boychuk, Noah Dobson, and Andy Greene makeup the average group. Both Varlamov and Greiss are fine starters, Varly has a .914 and Griess has a .913 save percentage but I wouldn’t put them in the upper class of goalies in the league.
If this was three years ago, the Leddy – Boychuk pair gets put in the good but at this point, they are both just average. It’s expected with Boychuk’s age, Leddy is the real headscratcher.
Anthony Beauvillier was borderline good for me but I leaned more towards average. 39 points in 68 games was a nice bounce-back year, but I wouldn’t quite put him above an average NHL player just yet.
Noah Dobson wasn’t bad in the limited time we saw from him, he has a chance to move up to good very quickly. That leaves Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene who are both fine defensemen. Every team needs fine defensemen, they’re not flashy but they get the job done.
In below-average, we have Derick Brassard, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Tom Kuhnhackl, Andrew Ladd, Leo Komarov, Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston, and Otto Koivula. We’ll start with Brassard who started out on fire this season but has been ice cold for a majority of the year. 17 points came in the first 23 games of the year and over the next 43 he would only have 15 points to his name.
Andrew Ladd is just a mess at this point. Injuries have set him back a ton, but he isn’t an NHL player anymore. As for the rest of them, they’re all replacement level bottom-six forwards. There’s not much else to it.
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