On Sunday the New York Islanders re-claimed forward Austin Czarnik from the waiver wire. Czarnik was claimed by the Seattle Kraken when the Isles put him on waivers just about a month ago (February 7). And now the Islanders reclaimed him after the Kraken placed him on waivers.
Great. So what does this mean for the New York Islanders. Why did they claim Czarnik now?
On the surface, it might not make sense. Why claim a guy that you deemed surplus just a month ago? Well, there are a few reasons the Islanders might want to reclaim him.
New York Islanders: Why re-claim Austin Czarnik?
The main one is that Czarnik is a good player to have as a 13th forward. He can play the wing or down the middle. He's a solid bottom-six player that provides energy, he's a capable player in all three zones, and can pop in a few points too.
In his eleven games on the Island this year, Czarnik scored five points (2 goals and three helpers). Add the two points he scored in six games with the Kraken and he's at seven points in 17 games. That's a 34 point pace over an 82 game schedule.
That's good to have on the roster.
The other advantage is that the Islanders could immediately place Czarnik in the AHL without having to send him to waivers again. That's because the Islanders already sent him through waivers, getting him back off of waivers essentially completes the circle in the eyes of the CBA.
Which is why the Islanders assigned him to the AHL immediately after they claimed him off the waiver wire.
Now that doesn't mean Czarnik has to stay in the AHL the rest of the season. The Islanders are free to bring him back up at any time and won't have to sent back through waivers if they don't need his services. By passing through waivers he doesn't have to go through them again for another month (or until he plays 10 NHL games).
With Lee out for personal reasons and with Barzal out day-to-day, there's a need for a player on the roster. And with all due respect to Otto Koivula, it doesn't seem like the Isles are going to give him a shot to stake a claim to a roster spot. They could place Czarnik there if Lee and Barzal are still out.
If Barzal and Lee are back, or if the Islanders actually want to see what Koivula has, Czarnik is also a hell of an AHL player. In 209 career AHL games, he has 203 points. Having him on a Bridgeport team that's trying to get into a playoff position, is a huge add.
So getting Czarnik back is really win-win....win for the NHL Islanders and even the AHL Islanders. That's why they brought him back.