About three weeks ago, the NY Islanders placed Kieffer Bellows on waivers to reassign him to the AHL Bridgeport Islanders. However, he didn't make it through waivers as he was plucked off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers who have dealt with many injuries to their forward group. On Tuesday afternoon, the Islanders placed another forward on waivers, this time it's Nikita Soshnikov.
It was a surprise to hear Soshnikov's name as the only new forward and one of the few new additions the Islanders signed this summer for the 2022-23 season. Before this season, he spent his three previous seasons in the KHL between Omsk Avangard, CSKA Moscow, and Ufa Salavat Yulayev. In the 2019-20 season, he scored a career-high 27 goals and 48 points in 58 games.
The Islanders have not been Soshnikov's first NHL stint, however, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues between 2015 and 2018. Soshnikov signed with the Maple Leafs in the summer of 2015 as an undrafted KHL import. He was best known for his speed and skating ability on his edges and on occasion he contributed the impressive snipe.
That proved to still be true for the Islanders when they signed him and he forced his way onto the 2022-23 roster after training camp. It hasn't exactly worked out since skating in just three games for the Islanders so far this season, recording no points. Soshnikov was mostly utilized in a fourth-line role when the Islanders found themselves without Cal Clutterbuck. More recently, he slotted next to Mathew Barzal on the Islanders' first line in a curious roster decision, however, received limited minutes against the Tampa Bay Lightning only skating for 10:25.
Now he'll have to clear waivers in order to attend and make his way to Bridgeport, unlike Bellows. The Islanders have a roster spot open now and some are speculating that a recall from Bridgeport is on the horizon. Some candidates to join the varsity club are Simon Holmstrom, Aatu Räty, William Dufour, and Bridgeport's leading scorer, Ruslan Iskhakov.