With the New York Islanders 2021-22 season now over, it's time to look back at where I thought things would go at the start of the season and a few months ago. It's time to see how far off my bold predictions were back in September and then a rejigged bold prediction piece from February.
As you can imagine based on where the Islanders ended up at the end of the season, most of these predictions aren't going to be even close. So let's see how hilariously far off I was.
New York Islanders: Going over 10 bold predictions
5 Pre-Season Bold Predictions
Oliver Wahlstrom hits 30 goals
Starting off hot. My thinking was that Wahlly was on pace for 22 goals over a full season in 20-21, so it's not too wild to suggest he could take a step up in his sophomore year. Obviously, the sophomore slump is a thing, but I felt the Islanders forward was going to be able to avoid that.
And well, he wasn't. Wahlstrom finished the year with 13 goals in 73 games, a pace of 15 over a full 82-game season. Half of what I expected.
There's space on this team for Wahlstrom to be a productive player, he's just got to find out how he can fill that space. Until then, he's going to have a hard time.
Mathew Barzal is a point-per-game player
The hits keep on coming. Barzal finished the year with 59 points in 73 games. A 66-point pace over a full year. Well off from my prediction. Sure Barzal needs more top-end support, but he's also got to be better.
Robin Salo plays 10+ games
Maybe this one wasn't bold enough. But then again I wrote it in September and I still thought the Islanders would pick up someone more established to fill that LHD puck-moving role. But Salo played double with 21 games over the year.
That wasn't because the Islanders were giving Salo Leddy's old role. The Islanders just ran into that many illnesses and injuries over the year. Had I known COVID would have been such a problem for the Isles I probably would have gone with someone different.
Win the Metro and the Cup
I put the final two bold predictions together. The Islanders entered the season with serious cup aspirations. They had the seventh-best odds of winning the Stanley Cup in September so I wasn't off base to suggest they could win the Cup or even the Division.
But a very different scenario happened. The Isles fell to fifth in the Metro and 16 points out of a playoff position. So looking back at this prediction now I was well off my rocker.
5 Mid-Season Bold Predictions
Nelson scores 40 goals
God he came close. Brock finished the year with 37 goals in 72 games. When I wrote that prediction Brock had 19 goals in 39 games a pace of 0.487 goals per game. If Brock could keep that up over the next 32 games on the Islanders schedule he could hit 35 goals. So he'd have to find another step to hit 40. A step I thought he could find.
And find it he did. Over the rest of the season, Nelson scored 18 goals in 33 games. A pace of 0.545 goals per game. it wasn't enough to hit 40 goals. But he found another gear and that's what really matters.
Josh Bailey Traded
I thought the Isles might actually move Bailey at the trade deadline because of how the kids (Bellows and Wahlstrom) had been playing. There was some interest in Bailey around the league so this wasn't completely from left field. But clearly, the Isles thought differently and didn't ultimately move Bailey.
Otto Koivula gets a significant tryout
This prediction was entirely based on the Islanders moving a player at the trade deadline. It seemed certain that Parise and/or Clutterbuck would be traded at the deadline. Of course, not only did the Isles keep them they extended both! Koivula got a bit of a look with a few injuries but only played eight games on the year.
Beauvillier scores 20
Woof. That was a hell of a prediction, right? Beau had eight at the time of writing, adding another 12 goals was going to take something special. And, well, Beau did not deliver. In his next 30 games after that prediction piece, he scores four goals and 15 points.
Obviously this was bold for a reason but man, Beauvillier didn't even come close.
Noah Dobson hits 50 points
At the time of the prediction, Dobson had 25 points in 46 games. He needed to keep up his scoring pace and add six points to that pace. But I was confident he could do it. And I was right. (It feels good to get one right.)
Dobson finished the year with 51 points in fact. In the following 34 games after my prediction piece, Dobson scored five goals and 26 points. I was confident the Dobson we saw from the middle of December was here to stay. And again, I was right. That Dobson was here to stay