Before the start of the 2020-21 season, Samuel Bolduc was one of the last players cut by the NY Islanders and Lou Lamoriello from the NHL roster following training camp. It seemed as if he would be making his NHL debut sooner rather than later. Fast forward to 2022, and we have yet to see Bolduc suit up for the Islanders.
An undisclosed injury before training camp of this past season kept the Islanders from even getting a look at their second-round pick in 2019. Bolduc didn’t make his return to the Bridgeport Islanders lineup until October 30th, taking a step back in his production from the previous season. In 57 games this season, Bolduc only managed two goals and five assists. Though he isn't expected to be an offensive-minded player at any level, but these numbers in the AHL don’t transition well to the NHL.
Bolduc is a good skater, especially for his size. He’s not someone who is going to blow past anyone or make significant moves on his edges, but he can hold his own. His stick is his best asset as he’s remarkable with his poke check but needs to improve his physicality. For someone the size of Bolduc, he doesn’t use his body enough, something he will need to improve on. His heavy shot is his best offensive asset which could see him get some second power play minutes at the next level. He will likely be a second-pair defenseman in the NHL.
Perhaps the best thing going for Bolduc is the Islanders' need for a bottom pair defenseman, particularly on the left side. All the talk about who will pair next to Scott Mayfield has revolved around Robin Salo, Sebastian Aho, Dennis Cholowski, and even Grant Hutton.
Now healthy and ready for his first complete season in two years, the Laval, QC native will look to pick up where he left off when departing Isles camp in 2020. Either Boldic finds his game once again or remains on the precipice of another season in the minors. He will need time in Bridgeport to get his legs under him, but there is a good chance we could see Bolduc making his NHL debut this season.