At the trade deadline, the New York Islanders swung big landing both Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri from the New Jersey Devils. Palmieri was having a down year with New Jersey just eight goals and 17 points in 34 games played when he was acquired.
The hope was for him to add some offense in the absence of Anders Lee. Well, in the regular season that really didn’t happen for New York.
In 17 games, Palmieri had just four points (2 goals, 2 assists). He played 14:10 of ice time over that span in mostly a third-line role. For whatever reason, the coaching staff decided to keep Leo Komarov up top while Palmieri played on line three.
In the playoffs, things were much different. Palmieri found the back of the net seven times in 19 games including a power play goal. He went from shooting 6.5% in the regular season with the Islanders to 20% in the playoffs. Was it really the power of the beard?
After losing Jordan Eberle in expansion, the Islanders decided to bring back Kyle Palmieri on a four-year $20 million ($5 million AAV) deal. The hope is that his 10 goal, 21 point performance in 2021 was an outlier.
Kyle Palmieri Expectations For 2021-2022
Last year was a weird outlier season for Kyle Palmieri. For someone who is normally such a dangerous power play threat, he was nonexistent putting up just two power play goals on the season.
He has hit 11 goals on the man advantage four of the previous five seasons. There’s no way that he shoots at that low of a clip on the power play again. I’ll say that he bounces back in the regular season scoring 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists).
Eight of his 24 goals will come on the power play this year and unlike last year he will see time with Mathew Barzal. He’ll start the season out on line one, but he’ll also see time with JG Pageau on line three again this season.
His physicality and goal scoring ability makes him a good fit for the top line and you’d have to imagine that the Islanders would feel more comfortable with the veteran rather than throwing the youngster Oliver Wahstrom up top right away.
The Long Island native will bounce back in a big way for his hometown team.