NY Islanders Plus/Minus for 2023-24: Samuel Bolduc looks to become an everyday NHLer

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It's hard to say a ton of positive things about a 17-game stretch with almost no scoring (more on that later). But even though he didn't score a lot himself, he definitely helped the team score. When Bolduc was on the ice, the Islanders scored 77% of the goals - much higher than any other regular (Dobson is next, with 56%).

This is probably a fluke - after all, the expected goals when Bolduc was on the ice were essentially 50/50. But it's undeniable that Bolduc knows how to generate offense. He's shown massive improvements in that area - from scoring just seven points in 57 AHL games in 2021-22, he found a new level this year with 35 points in 56 games. He was named an AHL All-Star, although he was promoted to the NHL and had to miss the all-star game.

On the topic of generating offense, when Bolduc was on the ice, the Islanders generated 31.25 shots on goal per 60 minutes - more than any other defenseman except Noah Dobson (and Wotherspoon, who I'm not really counting).

Bolduc is a strong puck mover. Anyone who watched the games he played, especially at the end of the season, will tell you he deserved more than three points. The new head coach of the Bridgeport Islanders, Rick Kowalsky, had this to say:

"Bolduc's already an NHL puck mover. His ability to shoot the puck quickly and heavy from the point... he looked more and more comfortable, and I think the Islanders staff...their confidence in him grew."

Rick Kowalsky

For a team in the financial situation of the Islanders, this is a significant plus - Bolduc is cheap. He signed a two-year extension with an AAV of just $800,000, and he'll still be an RFA when that deal expires. Having affordable depth pieces is necessary, and the Islanders should be grateful for that.

Finally, Bolduc is young. He was drafted in 2019 and is still only 22 years old. He's certainly not an extraordinary player at this point, but he's shown he can be an all-star-level playmaking defenseman at the AHL level and looked good in limited time in the big league. It's still very possible he'll turn into a good NHLer someday.