Have The Offseason Changes Been Positive For The New York Islanders?
Billy Hurst, USATSI

The New York Islanders will bring a lot of new skill to the ice this year. The question is, “Have they compensated for the skill they’ve lost?”

The team the New York Islanders put on the ice for the 2016 playoffs finally broke their “first round” curse. However, that same team was demoralized by a 4-to-1 series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the next round.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the Isles are going to bring a very new look to the ice this year.

General manager Garth Snow signed on veteran forward Andrew Ladd, as well as former Washington Capital Jason Chimera. The Islanders also signed PA Parenteau for a second stint in blue and orange. Smaller signings included keeping Shane Prince, who played a big role in the Islanders postseason success, as well as signing another freshman to a sophomore year contract, Ryan Strome. Snow, a former goalie, also signed third-string Jeff Berube to back up Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss.

The question for the Islanders going into the upcoming season is, “Did they compensate for their losses?”

Those two losses include losing out on the skills of long time New York Islanders Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen.

Okposo has been a cog in the machine of the Islanders well before the team became a real postseason threat. Scoring 22 goals and forty-two assists last season, Okposo is a player they will feel the loss of if Ladd and Chimera don’t make up for it. Nielsen also put up good numbers adding up to a total of 52 points (20 goals and 32 assists).

The best part of all of this for the New York Islanders is the young skill they have managed to keep. Prince is just in his second year. His fullest potential has yet to be seen by the Islanders and there is a chance it will come now.

Strome, who is coming back for his third season will now be playing alongside well-versed playoff contenders in Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera. With all of these men playing for the same side, the Islanders will bring undoubtedly more skill back to the NHL, than they ever have.

Did the Islanders compensate? Absolutely.

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