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Islanders: Ranking all options to take Oliver Wahlstrom’s spot

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders looks on during a time out in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders looks on during a time out in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Michael Dal Colle #28 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Top 3

Travis Zajac (Points: 7)
System: 3
Olly-like: 1
Coach: 3

This is no surprise. Travis Zajac is a 15-year NHL veteran who can play a full 200-foot game. He’s good in both ends of the ice and plays a smart, mistake-free game. Exactly what Barry Trotz loves.

He doesn’t score like Wahlstrom and isn’t an impact player on the power play. He can add secondary offense though. He was on pace for a 40+ point season before being traded to the Islanders. But Barry probably doesn’t care about that so much. He sees a smart vet who can help him manage out a game.

Michael Dal Colle (Points: 6)
System: 3
Olly-like: 0
Coach: 3

He’s exactly like Zajac minus the possible goal threat. Michael Dal Colle can give the Islanders a solid 15 minutes of low-event hockey. He might not create much offensively, but he could play a solid defensive game that stifles the opposition and that’s worth a lot in a Barry system.

Ross Johnston
System: 2
Olly-like: 0
Coach: 3

Ross Johnston shouldn’t be this high on the list, but the love the coach has for him is clear. And look, on any other team I can Ross Johnston getting fairly regular ice time. But he’s Matt Martin lite, and the Islanders already have Matt Martin regular. There’s no need to have both on the ice.

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