The New York Islanders might not have Oliver Wahlstrom for some time, so let’s make a replacement depth chart for the third-line spot.
We already know that Travis Zajac is likely to take Wahlstrom’s spot on the roster. But there are a number of players who could fill the void left by Wahlstrom on the roster. So let’s look at those options and rank them based on how they can (1) fit with the system, (2) replicate what Oliver Wahlstrom brings, and (3) how much the coach likes the player.
I gave each player a score of 0-to-3 on each where 0 is very bad and three is very good. The rank is based on the accumulation of points from those three criteria.
Before I get to the ranking I wanted to list who I wasn’t considering and why:
- Anatolii Golyshev: He’s just getting accustomed to the system after making the trip over from Russia. No way he even gets a sniff of the lineup. But I’d love to be surprised here. I think he fits the system well.
- Simon Holmstrom: Nope. Not happening. The youngster still has some ways to go. He’s on the roster to hopefully speed up his development.
- Andrew Ladd: He’s still listed on the taxi squad on CapFriendly. But as we know taxi squads stopped being a thing in the playoffs. Ladd is in some sort of purgatory between the NHL and AHL. That’s where he’ll stay.
So that leaves seven forwards on the Islanders roster that are technically up for the spot. Again, we know it’s Zajac’s spot but how do the players behind him lineup ?