What does the New York Islanders right-wing depth chart look like and what are their options on the right side of the ice as they head to the 2020-21 season?
The New York Islanders have had a need for more quality on the right side of the ice for some time now. When Jordan Eberle was out with injury at the start of 20-21they were left with Cal Clutterbuck as their only winger with a right shot.
What I wanted to do today was look at the Islanders depth chart on the right-wing and go over some of the possibilities for the 2020-21 season.
Looking at the Islanders roster (that includes everyone with an NHL contract), here’s the Isles depth along the right side of the ice:
- Jordan Eberle
- Josh Bailey*
- Cal Clutterbuck
- Oliver Wahlstrom
- Leo Komarov*
- Josh Ho-Sang
- Austin Czarnik
- Tanner Fritz
- Simon Holmstrom*
The only player that could be a wild card here is Leo Komarov. The veteran forward shouldn’t have a spot on this team. He’s at best a fourth-liner. And all three spots on the fourth line are spoken for. Keeping him as a 13th forward with a $3 million cap hit seems like a bad idea considering the Isles current situation with the salary cap. Having him in Bridgeport (if they can’t trade him) is the next best option for the Islanders.
I have Leo listed below Oliver Wahlstrom for that fact. Assuming Wahlstrom continues his progression out in Sweden and has a good camp he should be seen as a real option in the Islanders middle six (second or third line).
I don’t think there’s going to be much disagreement with where some of these names are ranked.
Options for 2020-21
Again, putting Leo Komarov in the minors is worth more to this team. The $1.075 million savings on the cap would allow them to bring up a younger player with more potential and still save.
Oliver Wahlstrom is going to get a chance to prove he deserves a spot in the Islanders middle six during the Islanders 2020 training camp. As will Josh Ho-Sang for that fact. With cap hits below $1 million, either could be exactly what the Islanders need.
Austin Czarnik could be an interesting option for the Islanders. He has 121 games of NHL experience, but the former Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames forward doesn’t have the same ceiling as a Wahlstrom or even a Ho-Sang. He’s a responsible player and that will certainly appeal to Trotz and Lamoriello, but he’s at best a 27 point player.
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What is clear is the Islanders have options on the right. They can go the conservative route and bring in a player like Czarnik. They could also re-sing Derick Brassard (he is also a left-shot forward) who the Islander seem to want to keep around.
Or they can take a bit of risk by bringing in Wahlstrom or Ho-Sang. Fully well knowing that risk comes with the potential for a big payoff.
Correction: Panarin was originally listed as a left-shot RW, but he’s a right-shot left-wing.