The New York Islanders priority in the offseason is to find more goalscoring, not to land Torey Krug in free agency.
Over the last two seasons, the New York Islanders have scored 412 goals. That ranks them 25th in the league in goalscoring. Only one team has scored fewer goals than the Isles and made the postseason in both years and that’s the Dallas Stars.
As the Islanders make preparations for 2020-21 (even though they’re still in the midst of a playoff run), one thing they need to improve on is putting the puck in the opponent’s net.
So I was surprised when Boston Bruins pending UFA defenseman Torey Krug was brought up as
. Cause as far as I see it not only is Krug an impossible get for the Isles it doesn’t solve the one thing the Isles need; a goal scorer.
After nine years in Boston, Torey Krug is going to cash in as a free agent. Since 2016-17 Krug has only one sub-50-point year and that was this season where he had 49 points in 61 games.
His current deal carries an AAV of $5.25 million. He’s going to get a good raise on that even in the flat cap era. Fitting Torey Kurg under the cap is going to be impossible without moving out a few pieces for the New York Islanders.
Krug has certainly proven to be a good player. His four-ish 50+ point seasons and three seasons with 12 or more goals attest to that. But the Islanders already have a player that can fill a Krug-like role in Ryan Pulock.
Just to be clear I don’t suggest Ryan Pulock=Torey Krug. But looking at Pulock’s first three years in the league to Krug’s it certainly seems like Pulock is trending in a Kruggian direction.
*All stats from NaturalStatTrick
There’s no question that Torey Krug was a better player in his opening three years in the league. But Ryan Pulock isn’t too far away. Pulock is still young and finally has a stable voice behind the bench that has put him in a position to succeed.
Yes, Torey Krug is putting up 50 points a season now for the Bruins. But he’s also got a consistent 30+ goal scorer like Brad Marchand, a nearly 50 goal scorer like David Pastrnak, and the best two-way center in the game who’s typically netting close to a point per game (at least over the last three years) on the ice.
If Pulock had talent like that upfront, his numbers would certainly swell.
Not the Problem
Again, the issue for the Islanders is scoring. They just don’t put up enough goals to be considered a true threat in the NHL.
The Islanders need a forward who can convert consistently at around 14 percent per year at 5on5. The Isles just don’t have that type of player. Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson are close with a 13.16 and 13.14 shooting percentage respectively over the last three seasons at 5on5.
(Stats from NaturalStatTrick.)
Finding one is obviously easier said than done. But that’s where the Islanders focus has to be. They’ve already one of the better defensive teams in the league since Barry Trotz took over. Their depth on the blue line is incredible and they’ve still yet to integrate Noah Dobson full-time.
With Ilya Sorokin signed, the Islanders have their goalie of the future. So there’s no need there.
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Goalscoring is the Islanders one true priority for 2020-21. And that’s where their efforts need to go. Not in trying to acquire the premier defensive free-agent on the market.