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Islanders send two players down to AHL from taxi squad

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)
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Last night the New York Islanders made three roster moves according to CapFriendly. One player was sent from the roster to the taxi squad and two players were sent from the taxi squad to the AHL.

Both Otto Koivula and Dmytro Timashov were moved from the taxi squad to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers while Oliver Wahlstrom was moved to the taxi squad to make sure the Isles hit the minimum number of four players on the extra group.

So now, the taxi squad holds three forwards and a defenseman. Wahlstrom joins Kieffer Bellows and Austin Czarnik while the only defenseman on the extra group is veteran Thomas Hickey.

New York Islanders let some kids play in the AHL

It makes sense for the Islanders to move Koivula and Timashov down to the minors. Neither has been a factor in the bottom six this year. Timashov was the only one to get a game and he looked well off the pace at the NHL level and only player 7:13 because of it. While Koivula had yet to feature before being sent down.

Now both will have a chance to get regular playing time with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Koivula has proven to be a solid option for the Sound Tigers’ top six over the past two years. His first season was his best with 46 points in 69 games. Brent Thompson likes the big Finn for his size, hands, and versatility. He can play down the middle or on the wing.

Timashov could fit right into a Sound Tigers team that lacks a bit of offense. The former Detroit Red Wing and Toronto Maple Leafs player has 107 points in 202 games at the lower level. He could be a good speedy option in the middle six. At worst his presence alone will push some of the other players on the roster.

What Does This Mean for the NHL Roster?

With these three moves, the Islanders have twelve forwards, seven defensemen, and three goalies on the active roster. That’s one less than the team is allowed to carry. That 22-man active roster does not include Anthony Beauvillier who’s still on IR.

For now, the Isles can still bring up Oliver Wahlstrom to the roster if they want. And they should. Wahlstrom has been playing well and could use some consistency. As could third-line center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has seen a consent revolving door of wingers since the drop of the puck on the 2021 season.

But because the taxi squad is now at four, Lou will have to send someone back down for every player he calls up. The minimum number of players on the taxi squad is four.

Ilya Sorokin can move on and off the taxi squad without needing waivers so moving him there to bring up Wahlstrom is VERY likely. But, eventually, the Russian netminder will need to get playing time. Whenever that may be the case, expect Leo Komarov to be sent down to the taxi squad. Leo won’t have to clear waivers again until he plays ten games or 30 days pass since he last cleared (which would be Feb 12, 2021).

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