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3 NY Islanders forward line combinations we could see in 2022-23

Anaheim Ducks v New York Islanders
Anaheim Ducks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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3 of 4
Mathew Barzal, Oliver Wahlstrom
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Rich Graessle/GettyImages
  1. Anthony Beauvillier - Mathew Barzal - Oliver Wahlstrom
  2. Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
  3. Zach Parise - J.G. Pageau - Josh Bailey
  4. Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Top-6 Heavy

This is a bit of a different look than we're used to seeing regarding the top-6. The lone difference in the bottom-6 is Bailey on the third line. As the third oldest forward in the group, joining Parise and Clutterbuck in the bottom-6 in a lesser role could make for more meaningful shifts for the almost 34-year-old forward.

Shayna Goldman of The Athletic joined Nassaumen Hockey Podcast to discuss how she believes slotting Beauvillier next to Barzal could certainly give him the best opportunity to succeed (at 33:50):

Beauvillier could be the right kind of support for a player like Barzal as the former has similar speed to the latter. Being able to keep pace is half the battle when skating on a line with Barzal, the other is being able to read his playmaking ability and help him fill the net. That's where Wahlstrom comes in as when he was drafted, his shot was already NHL-ready. By the time he had been shifted to Barzal's line in the 2021-22 season, it had been too little, too late. The then 21-year-old forwards confidence was at a low, and although Barzal and Wahlstrom had their moments, not many pucks found the back of the net.

It's tough to say that was completely on Wahlstrom. If he appeared to have a strong game but made one mistake, he was riding the bench or watching from the press box the next game. Although Wahlstrom said he "needed the tough love," it didn't appear to be the best strategy to in terms of teachable moments. Starting Wahlstrom on a line with Barzal and Beauvillier could prove to be a high-powered offensive threat, with the two speedy forwards pushing the pace, and Wahlstrom just needs to find space to shoot the puck.

Does Lambert really want a line that's all shooters? It's not out of the question. Lee and Nelson were reunited as line-mates towards the end of last season and found the chemistry they used to have as part of the "kid line" that featured Ryan Strome when he was with the Islanders. The duo scored a combined 14 goals in the final 28 games and proved to be the Islanders' best offensive threat at 5v5. Adding Palmieri to that situation could make for quite the headache for any opposing goaltender. Nelson can certainly score from anywhere and Lee has no issue parking himself at the top of the crease, while Palmieri knows how to light the lamp from below the dots. A flurry of shots from this group every shift seems like it would be bound to score a time or two each night.

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