NY Islanders: Does Kyle Palmieri have another 30-goal season in him?

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

When the New York Islanders traded for Kyle Palmieri before the 2021 trade deadline, they did so to replace the void left by Anders Lee when the team's captain and power forward was lost for the season with an ACL injury. When the Islanders signed Palmieri to a four-year contract after he scored seven goals during their playoff run, they did so believing he would be an efficient scorer that would blend in well with the team's style of play.

NY Islanders: Does Kyle Palmieri have another 30-goal season in him?

This may come as a subtle surprise, but Palmieri has only hit 30 goals once in his career. That came back in 2015-16 when he scored 30 as a 24-year-old with the New Jersey Devils. Not coincidentally, it was the only time in his NHL career he played in a full 82 games. Staying healthy has been a challenge for Palmieri in his first two full seasons with the Islanders, missing 27 games last year after missing 13 the previous year.

For Palmieri to hit the 30-goal mark, a couple things need to happen.

The first is he needs to stay on the ice all season. He's streaky and a player that can score in bunches, as evidenced by his seven multi-point games last season, but he can just as easily go cold for prolonged stretches. The latter is more likely to happen if he's in and out of the lineup without consistent line-mates. His goals per 60 minutes were 1.0 last season, his highest mark in three seasons, but that number will have to tick up a bit more across a full season for a chance at 30.

The second is consistent linemates. He had 16 goals and 17 assists last season in 55 games in an up-and-down year that emulated that of the team. When Palmieri took off, so did the team, and it happened following the acquisition of Pierre Engvall and the formation of a line of Palmieri and Envall centered by All-Star Brock Nelson.

"I was hungry, missing a couple months there," said Palmieri on May 1st." "Brock had great season from start to finish. You look at the points he put up and the impact he made on each game. He had an unbelievable season and I was just lucky enough to ride shotgun with it for a little bit there."

As for Engvall, while GM Lou Lamoriello was likely thinking extension from the moment the trade was made, the way that line played likely factored into the decision to bring him back on a seven-year contract extension. "It took him a couple of games to get comfortable and figure out his way to make an impact on our team, said Palmieri of Engvall. "The results speak for themselves, he had a huge impact on our team down the stretch."

Perhaps another 30-goal season is expecting too much of Palmieri. The biggest obstacle will be playing a full season; it almost has to baked in that he'll spend some time on IR. However, if he does stay healthy, and his line picks up where it left off last season, there's reason to believe he can, at a minimum, return to the 25-goal, 50-point scorer he has been throughout his career with an outside shot of approaching 30 if everything goes right.