Should Islanders consider picking up Riley Nash off waivers?
On Monday, the Winnipeg Jets placed center Riley Nash on waivers. The New York Islanders, who have a gap down the middle, could bring him in to be that fourth-line center and do so for free. Should they?
Remember, both Brock Nelson (injury) and Casey Cizikas (illness) are out right now. On Sunday against the Blackhawks, the Isles played Barzal-Pageau-Czarnik-Parise down the middle. They could probably use Nash, who's a steady centerman.
New York Islanders: Should they claim Riley Nash off waivers?
Now, remember, after November 1st, the waiver wire order is a reverse order on the current day standings (derived by points-percentage). The Islanders rank 29th with a .375 points-percentage. So unless one of the teams below them also lays a claim on Nash, the Isles could get him.
So should the Islanders bring him in? Well, does he move the needle forward for the team? Probably not. At least not directly. As you can see with JFresh's player card, he's basically a Michael Dal Colle-like player. He won't cause you any headaches, but he's not pushing the team forward either.
But what he could do is free up someone like Zach Parise to play on the wing. Where he's better suited. Calling back to that game against the Blackhawks on Sunday, Kieffer Bellows was placed on the second line, but he only played 7:46.
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for Kieffer Bellows. Having Nash on L4 frees up Parise to play on the wing over Bellows who would effectively become an extra.
So, again, should the Islanders bring him in? I mean he's got a league minimum contract so there's no real downside. The only issue is what happens when Cizikas is back from COVID protocol?
We're all assuming it's going to be a full 10-days off for Cizikas, meaning that he could be back right around when the Islanders claim for Nash would go through (Dec 7). So unless Cizikas is out longer than ten days the Islanders have to pass on Nash.