Islanders key takeaways from roster for 2021 NHL season

The official roster is out for the New York Islanders and outside of the obvious, like who did and didn’t make the team, what else can we take away from the roster?

The New York Islanders have finally officially announced their roster for the 2021 season. It took a while, as is customary in a Lou Lamoriello regime. He takes his time and is quite unapologetic about it. Even when it leads to a lot of confusion.

But now that we know who will make up the Isles 24-man roster (Dal Colle is on IR) and who will sit on their four-man taxi squad what can we make of the Islanders roster? Here are my three immediate takeaways.

Tons of Youth

Named to the regular roster are a number of Islanders promising prospects and a few more were named to the taxi squad.

On the full roster are Oliver Wahlstrom (2018 11th overall), Noah Dobson (2018 12th overall), Sebastian Aho (2017 5th round), and Ilya Sorokin (2014 3rd round).

On the taxi squad are Kieffer Bellows (2016 19th overall), Otto Koivula (2016 4th round), and Jakub Skarek (2018 3rd round).

Not all of them will get consistent playing time. Aho is one of eight defenders on a team whose top six is already well established. But we do know that Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows will get playing time.

For a team that is routinely seen as old this influx of youth is a great step.

Moves to come

Of the 14 forwards listed (including MDC) is Leo Komarov. That might surprise you because Komarov was waived yesterday and cleared earlier on Wednesday. So why is he listed on the roster?

Because this roster was filled yesterday, before Leo cleared so technically, he was still part of the roster. It’s expected that he’ll be placed on the taxi squad.

There’s also the fact that the islanders are carrying eight defensemen on the regular roster. That has to be for cap management purposes. One will surely move to the taxi squad. With only Noah Dobson being waiver exempt that role likely falls to Thomas Hickey who won’t likely get claimed.

On Skarek, he’ll likely head down to the AHL once that Schneider contract becomes officially official as well.

Dal Colle Injury

It took us all by surprise. Michael Dal Colle wasn’t injured going into camp but leaves camp on the IR list. No one knows when Dal Colle was injured and Lou wouldn’t tell anyone what happened either.

Putting a player on IR does nothing for the cap in terms of savings, but it does allow the team to bring in an extra player. So the Isles were clearly able to use that to fit an extra body on the roster in order to walk them up as close as possible to the $81.5 million salary cap.