The New York Islanders are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. The Islanders finally ran into a team that can outplay them for a full 60 minutes. A good coach and a good system can only get a team so far. Eventually, the roster must be improved greatly. This is the Islanders’ true problem and the reason why they won’t beat Tampa. Tampa is a more talented team than the Islanders. But, this doesn’t mean the Islanders can’t make a run for the cup next year. Their key pieces aren’t that old, and they have some good prospects. What changes should Lou Lamoriello make for the roster next year?
The Islanders need a consistent goal scorer, but they don’t have the cap space to get one. This means the goal scorer must come from the system. It could be someone on the roster like Anthony Beauvillier, J.G. Pageau, or Brock Nelson. Though, I’m thinking like someone a bit younger and from the AHL. Kieffer Bellows is the first name that comes to mind. In his debut, he scored two goals against the Los Angeles Kings. One of these goals was an absolute snipe from 50 feet left of the net. Oliver Wahlstrom could also make his long-awaited NHL stay next year too. So, barring any major free agency signings, here are the forward lines for next year. Also, in this, we keep Matt Martin.
Anders Lee-Mat Barzal-?
Anthony Beauvillier-Brock Nelson-Josh Bailey
Kieffer Bellows-J.G. Pageau-Oliver Wahlstrom/free agent winger
Cal Clutterbuck-Casey Cizikas-Matt Martin
The defense is good, but it can be better. The Islanders need a better bottom line pairing because Nick Leddy and Andy Greene aren’t cutting it. Too many turnovers in their own end, and they can’t hold the blue line. One solution is Noah Dobson taking a spot. This is a move that all Islanders fans want. Noah Dobson is the future, and it’s his time to show the world what he’s made of. The other spot will most likely be filled by a free agent. Cheap defensive options include Mark Borowiecki, Luke Schenn, and Andrej Sekera.
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews-Scott Mayfield
Andrej Sekera-Noah Dobson
Those are my predictions for the 2020 lineup. Obviously, I have a 10% chance of even getting one move right. Lou Lamoriello doesn’t let anything slip under his nose, and that’s never going to change. What are your thoughts?