As the summer approaches, the New York Islanders plan for the draft and free agency. The NHL season motors onto the end with the Stanley Cup Finals.
The two final teams are the familiar Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche. New York has become accustomed to seeing Tampa Bay off to their visits to the Finals, but Colorado returns to the finals for the first time since they won in 2001.
New York Islanders Old Friend Gets Another Shot at the Lightning
The Avalanche has a familiar face on the blue line to Islanders fans. Former Islanders defenseman and draft pick, Devon Toews, will play in his first career Stanley Cup Finals.
Despite not being a part of the team for two seasons now, the Islanders fan base still has fond memories of Toews and they follow him closely. Toews was a cap casualty when traded in the off-season to the Avalanche for draft picks.
If Islanders fans didn't have a rooting interest against the Lightning, Toews certainly adds to the newfound fandom.
Toews had a career year since joining Colorado, tallying 57 points and 13 goals. In the playoffs, he has 13 points and 5 goals in 14 contests. Toews has filled in nicely with Norris Trophy favorite; Cale Makar.
The Islanders had another chance to beat the Lightning last year after facing the defending champions in the Eastern Conference finals once again. Toews was not a part of that group.
Toews will have his shot to best the now two time defending Cup champs.
In the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, Toews played all six games of the series and recorded 2 points. A minus-5 showing did not represent the solid season he had for the Islanders.
The average time on ice for Toews in that series was 21:05. It would appear that Toews will be logging more minutes this time around and surely producing at a higher rate than in 2020.
It is always fun and painful to watch a former Islander succeed on the big stage, but it will certainly make things interesting and fill the time before the NHL draft.