NY Islanders 2023-24 Player Report Card: Robert Bortuzzo Filled a Role on an Injury-Plagued Blue Line

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Not much was expected of Robert Bortuzzo when the NY Islanders acquired the former Stanley Cup winning defenseman from the St. Louis Blues for a 7th-round pick - but he played his role giving the Islanders experience and size along the blue line.

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

NY Islanders 2023-24 Player Report Card: Robert Bortuzzo

Entering the season at 34 years old, Robert Bortuzzo wasn't receiving the playing time he'd hoped for with the Blues, appearing in just four games through the first two months of the season. In the twilight of his career, Bortuzzo hoped to see the ice more frequently, knowing he has more playing time behind him than ahead.

After Ryan Pulock was placed on injured reserve in December, the Islanders needed a defenseman with size on the right side. Lou Lamoriello acquired the 6'4" defenseman from the Blues for a seventh-round pick, adding depth to a depleted blue line.

"I'm just excited to come to a group who has had a lot of success over the years, is in win-now mode," said Bortuzzo after being traded to the Islanders. "I've heard nothing but good things about this locker room and the guys, and just truly thrilled to be here."

Bortuzzo played in his first ten games with the Islanders before suffering a lower-body injury that at the time looked to be season-ending.

He'd return to the lineup in late March, just as it was announced Scott Mayfield was being placed on LTIR with a fractured ankle, ending his season.

The biggest hope the Islanders had bringing in Bortuzzo was that he could fill a role when needed and eat up some minutes on the Islanders' third pairing. He managed that, playing in 23 regular season games, averaging 14:18 per game.

Bortuzzo's biggest moment came in Game 4 of the playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes when he provided the primary assist on a Mathew Barzal 2OT goal, for his only point of the season.

It's unlikely Bortuzzo will return for another season with the Islanders, as his lasting memory will be leaping into the arms of Alexander Romanov at the end of that 2OT playoff game.

Final Grade: C