What can the Islanders expect from Leo Komarov in 2021? Is he a scratch, taxi squad guy, or a regular in the lineup for Barry Trotz?
Oh, Uncle Leo. We’re heading into year three of Leo Komarov on the New York Islanders and for the first time, his role is really unknown for the team. Last year and in year one, we knew he would be a bottom-six regular for the Isles.
After an okay first year with the Isles he took a big step back in year two, as he had just 14 points in 48 games played. Even his four goals were flukey, two of which came on empty netters, another one on a random bounce off the boards and then a wrist shot that went right through Ilya Samsonov somehow.
Anyway, his ice time went down and then he played in 17 of the Isles playoff games getting just over 12 minutes per night.
As we’ve mentioned on this site numerous times, the third line wing spots are really up for grabs. Leo Komarov will either be on the third line, a scratch, a taxi squad player, or buried in the AHL for cap relief.
My bet, he will be mostly a healthy scratch. I think we see Oliver Wahlstrom on the third line and Leo Komarov will get somewhere around 15-25 games filling in when need be.
I’ll call it 20 games for Leo Komarov with three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and 12:30 of ice time per night. While I am known to get on Leo Komarov for being in the lineup, I’ll give him this, Trotz loves him on the PK.
In 48 games, Komarov played 66:46 on the PK according to Natural Stat Trick (fifth-most for any Islanders forward). So I think he sticks around as a scratch/PK special in a part-time role over someone like Michael Dal Colle who does…well, nothing frankly.
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Expectations are fairly low for Leo for his age 34 season, and not just from me. There’s a chance if the Isles are struggling with cap space for next year he could be a buyout candidate.