NY Islanders 2023-24 Player Report Card: A Rough First NHL Season for Samuel Bolduc

New York Islanders v Chicago Blackhawks
New York Islanders v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

This wasn't the first NHL season Samuel Bolduc would have hoped for, finding it difficult to earn ice time even with all the injuries to the NY Islanders' blue line. He essentially served as the team's eighth defenseman, unable to take advantage of the opportunities given to him throughout the season.

*Read our previously Published player report cards: Sebastian Aho | Mat Barzal

NY Islanders 2023-24 Player Report Card: Samuel Bolduc

Last season, Samuel Bolduc was named an AHL All-Star while playing with the Bridgeport Islanders in the AHL. He earned a mid-season call-up, appeared in 17 regular season games, and started the Islanders playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes. He struggled early in that series and soon found himself in the press box, as there were hopes he'd take that next step after signing a 2-year, one-way deal with the Islanders over the summer.

Bolduc has been a defensive-minded player his entire career, but last year in Bridgeport saw an influx of offense into his game - but that offense hasn't transitioned well to the NHL

Bolduc began the season as the Islanders' seventh defenseman but was thrust into the lineup early in the year after Scott Mayfield missed games with what was eventually disclosed as a fractured ankle.

Samuel Bolduc
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

He appeared in 25 games before New Year's Day, contributing 1 goal and 1 assist. Once Lane Lambert was relieved of his duties as the Islanders head coach, Bolduc saw even less ice once Patrick Roy took over the helm. He found himself in the lineup in three of Roy's first four games in charge, including a homecoming against the Montreal Canadiens, but was scratched from Jan. 27th, until the Islanders' final game of the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 17th. In that game, he scored a goal and recorded an assist.

If the Islanders are to make noise next season, it would be best if Bolduc was the team's seventh or even eighth defenseman, filling in for what would hopefully only be a short period.

Bolduc isn't in the greatest position to develop his game on the fly and may see another season without as much ice time as he'd prefer. With his size at 6'4", the Islanders would love it if he could take the next step in his development and become a serviceable, cheap, bottom-pairing defenseman for a team pressed against the cap ceiling. But that development has yet to be seen.

Final Grade: C-