Since signing his four-year extension to remain with the New York Islanders after the team's deep playoff run to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals in 2021, Kyle Palmieri has struggled to find consistency in part due to injuries keeping him out of the lineup.
It's for this reason that there was mild concern about his availability when Palmieri didn't open up training camp with the team and remained skating on his own with an undisclosed injury until this week. Palmieri rejoined the team for practice this week and saw his first game action of the pre-season vs. the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, logging 14:12 TOI while skating with Brock Nelson and Julian Gauthier with Pierre Engvall out of the lineup.
“I felt okay, and it was good to get back out there, Palmieri said after the game. “It’s one of those things where these guys have been working for a couple of weeks now, and I only joined the group this week, but we have a week ahead of us to get ready and get ourselves excited for next Saturday.”
The power forward scored 16 goals in 55 games last season and thrived on a line with Nelson and Engvall during the team's playoff push. Fans have been eager to see if that chemistry would carry over to this season but will have to wait until the season opener next Saturday vs. Buffalo.
“It was his first game, but he looked like a power forward tonight,” head coach Lane Lambert said after the game. “He used his body and drove pucks to the net, I liked his game.”
If he can stay healthy and that line can pick up where it left off last season, there's reason to believe that Palmieri can post a 25-goal, 50-point scorer he has been throughout his career prior to being acquired by GM Lou Lamoriello from New Jersey.