New York Islanders Otto Koivula Making the Case

Otto Koivula #21 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Otto Koivula #21 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Islanders promising youngster, Otto Koivula has been making the case over in Finland that he should be a part of the Isles opening night roster.

Like many other fanbases, the Islanders faithful are waiting for the next shoe to drop. During this time, Otto Koivula has been making the case that he should be part of the Isles opening night roster for the 2020-21 season.

The New York Islanders currently have a couple of open spots on J.G Pageau’s line. Otto Koivula is making his audition overseas.

Koivula’s Background

Koivula was a late fourth-round pick back in 2016. The six-foot-four, 219 pound forward was drafted as a winger. However, after Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz came onboard they moved him to center, which the organization lacked.

Koivula did spend some time with the Islanders last season (12 games). He has played well in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9 Goals, 22 Points, 36 Games last season).

Koivula just turned 22 in September and appears to be ready to take that next step to the NHL.

Pageau’s Line

Currently, no one is locked on Pageau’s wings. There are a number of candidates such as Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, and Koivula along with the other veteran faces that we’ve seen on line three.

Given the state of the Isles cap situation, it’s likely these spots will be filled by internal options. The Isles are currently $3.9 Million under the cap with Mathew Barzal still to sign.

Koivula has played well so far in Finland for HIFK Helsinki recording three goals and 11 points in 12 games. Since the Isles acquired Pageau they can now slip Koivula back to the wing.

Koivula’s big body as well as his ability to add secondary scoring makes him an enticing option for the Isles third line. A strong training camp could cement Koivula’s spot on the roster.

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Another consideration is the Isles are going to have to trade sweeteners along with a Johnny Boychuk and or Leo Komarov to get cap compliant. Koivula’s recent play could make him the trade target of another team in such a deal. One way or another Koivula could help the Islanders this coming season.