Islanders: Ranking all options to take Oliver Wahlstrom’s spot
Czarnik played four games this year for the Isles. He was…fine in all four. I’m sure if he got a prolonged spell to prove his worth he’d make it work, but with only 50 total minutes of ice time, it’s hard to really stand out.
But his speed and his strong work ethic has him much higher on the list. He’s a really good forechecker and that ability should help counter the Penguin’s strong transition game. That’s why I added that extra 0.5 to his system score.
Cole Bardreau had a great year for the Sound Tigers this year. He led all skaters in goals (10) and points (16) in 20-21. He ended the season with eight points in his final eight games. In his ten-game stint with the Isles last year Bardreau proved to be a good addition while the fourth line was decimated with injury.
He’s a bottom-six forward that can take draws and kill penalties. He won’t play on the power play and isn’t what you’d consider a goal threat at the NHL level.
If there’s anyone on the Islanders extras roster that could fill what Oliver Wahlstrom does offensively it’s Kieffer Bellows. He’s got an NHL shot and loves to shoot the puck from just about anywhere in the offensive zone.
Unfortunately, the Islanders coaching staff just doesn’t like what he’s putting out. Bellows has been in the dog house basically the entire year. He just can’t seem to show Barry Trotz that he’s ready.
Look, his defensive play isn’t great. His positioning isn’t great either which does little to endear himself to the coach.
I don’t know what to say about Koivula. He’s got the size to be a staple in the Barry Trotz system, but he just doesn’t seem to fit what Barry wants from him. He’s not what you’d call a “power forward”. He doesn’t play a hard and physical game and for someone with a 6’4″ 225lbs frame that’s disappointing.