NY Islanders 2023-24 Report Card: Casey Cizikas Takes the Wing on the First Line

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Known as the center of the "Identity Line" for over a decade, Casey Cizikas has always been a player who knows his role and plays it well. Since entering the league during the 2011-12 season, he's always been known as a checking line player, but this season, he got the opportunity to prove that he could be much more than that.

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

NY Islanders 2023-24 Player Report Card: Casey Cizikas

There's never been much flare to Casey Cizikas's game, playing a North-South style with high energy, on a line that knows each other better than most family members. But there has always been an element of skill to Cizikas' game that Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin don't have, as evidenced by his 20-goal season in 2018-19.

For most of the season, Cizikas centered the fourth line and was a member of the penalty kill unit - two roles he's extremely familiar with.

But towards the tail end of the season, Cizikas got the opportunity to prove that he was much more versatile, and could play a more skilled game. After a 6-game losing streak that appeared to knock the Islanders out of playoff contention, Patrick Roy was searching for something that could give the team a spark and regain its winning ways. Not only did he remove Cizikas from the fourth line, but Roy shifted him to the wing to play alongside Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat.

Cizikas became the workhorse on that line, tracking down pucks and finding the dirty areas to create space for the team's two best offensive players. He remained in that role and earned power play time during the Islanders' 8-0-1 finish to the season and through the playoffs.

His season stat line wasn't anything impressive, finishing with 10 goals and 13 assists in 70 games, but it was his second-highest point total (23) since his 20-goal season in 2017-18.

The "Identity Line" may be no more with Clutterbuck and Martin's contracts expiring this summer, but Cizikas has 3-years remaining on his deal and will remain an integral part of the organization whether that be centering a new fourth line or taking a new place in the lineup.