NHL Power Rankings: Previewing the Flyers’ Metropolitan positon

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

New York Islanders

Head Coach- Barry Trotz (first season)

Key Returning Players- Mathew Barzal, Joshua Ho-Sang, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle

2018 Outlook

Justin: The Islanders are a team that just lost their franchise player, John Tavares, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Luckily, they have reigning Calder Trophy winner Matt Barzal ready to step up and lead this young team. The Islanders over the past few seasons have been an offensively minded, transition based team that relies on speed and goal scoring off the rush. That will change slightly under Trotz, who is more of a defensively minded coach. Unfortunately for Trotz, his defense and goaltending will be the weakest areas of the team with Calvin de Haan departing in free agency and Jaroslav Halak moving on. The Isles do have Robin Lehner, but he hasn’t been the same since 2015. He’ll need to be very good for the Isles to have any shot at a playoff berth.

Bottom line: Barzal will eventually be an elite player in the league, but not soon enough for this team to sniff the playoffs this year. They just don’t have enough depth in all of the key areas, and defense and goaltending are huge question marks.

Prediction: Eighth in the Metropolitan Division, 76 pts

Anthony:  The Islanders are another team going through an identity shift. Lou Lamoriello took over as the Islanders GM, made everyone shave, lost John Tavares to the Leafs and then added a handful of guys like Valtteri Filppula and Tom Kuhnhackl. They don’t have very to fall from last season, but they will surely fall.

Bottom Line: The Islanders will inevitably rely on some of their new veteran additions and it will hurt them. John Tavares didn’t want to wait through a rebuild if there even is one happening.

Prediction: Eighth in the Metropolitan Division, 75 pts