NY Islanders Plus/Minus for 2023-24: Simon Hölmstrom to fight for an opening night roster spot

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Since the NY Islanders reached for Simon Hölmstrom with the 23rd pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Swedish winger hasn't made much of an impact until this past season. Earning his first call-up to the NHL in November, Hölmstrom remained with the Isles for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

Originally projected as a second-round pick in 2019, Lou Lamoriello and the Isles selected Hölmstrom earlier than expected, and it seems so far as if the gamble hasn't paid off. Hölmstrom seemed to be finding his groove on the AHL as he received his first call-up, finishing the 2021-22 season with 43 points (12 goals, 31 assists), good enough for third on the team.

Though it's a small sample size, that success has yet to translate to the NHL level. Making 50 appearances with the Islanders last season, Hölmstrom only managed six goals and three assists. He found himself getting time on all four lines as Lane Lambert searched for ways to get the rookie going. Despite playing nearly every game since his initial call-up, Hölmstrom found himself in the press box as the playoffs rolled around, not appearing in any of the six games.

Heading into this season, Hölmstrom isn't guaranteed a position, as he'll have to earn his spot competing against the likes of Hudson Fasching and Julien Gauthier.


There is still plenty of development required of Hölmstrom to become a quality NHL forward, taking that first step by making his debut this season. Though point production wasn't anything significant, Hölmstrom has shown his capabilities on the defensive end of the ice. He found himself on the team's penalty-kill often, and if he were to fill in for Zach Parise, should he retire, Hölmstrom would become an adequate replacement.

Hölmstrom's work ethic never seemed to falter despite his lack of points. He played every shift to the best of his capabilities, willing to battle for pucks and sacrifice his body.

The more simple Hölmstrom keeps his game, the better. He's not going to wow anybody with marvelous puck skills, but his simplification works well, especially on the third line, where he'd likely see playing time.

A bit more production will be expected of Hölmstrom, as he's proven he can do so at the AHL level. While the NHL is a massive step up, he's capable of raking in the assists and will look to do so this year.


There isn't much to Hölmstrom's game that makes him an attractive player. While playing a simple game is necessary for his success, it also holds him back. While he hasn't hit his peak yet, it's difficult to expect much more of him.

Drafted for his offensive prowess, Hölmstrom looks to be a step behind most of his teammates on the offensive end of the ice. Even Fasching, who wasn't expected to be much more than depth for the Bridgeport Islanders, has surpassed Hölmstrom offensively. The two may find themselves battling each other for a roster spot, and while they are both responsible in their own end, Lamoriello and Lambert may decide to go with the player who has more offensive upside.

Nothing will be given to Hölmstrom this season as he'll need to earn every minute he gets. Training camp and pre-season will be massively important to the 22-year-old, as it can determine whether he starts the season on Long Island or Bridgeport.