Over the next few weeks leading up to the season, we will be giving our predictions for each Islanders player broken up into 4 categories. Today we will cover the projected top six forwards:
photo courtesy of http://longisland.newsday.com/
1) John Tavares
This season, which will likely be Tavares first as captain, I think we will see a continued maturation from him leading to his first 40 goal season in the NHL.
2) Matt Moulson
I think Moulson will continue to be what he has been in his time here, a constant 30+ goal scorer and a great compliment for Tavares.
3) Pierre Marc Bouchard
If Bouchard is able to stay healthy for the season, I see no reason why he would have trouble putting up stats like this.
photo courtesy of http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
Assuming Bailey performs like he did to end last season for a full season, there is no reason he wouldn't be able to put up stats like this. However, if he falls into his old inconsistent ways, reaching these numbers will be difficult for him.
5) Frans Nielsen
Building on his successful year last season, it wouldn't surprise me if Nielsen came out and put up a year like this.
6) Kyle Okposo
Okposo is being looked at by some a one of the keys to our season. If he is able to come out and play like he did in the second half of the season and the playoffs, that will surely increase the Islanders chances of qualifying for the playoffs for the season season in a row. Like Bailey though, if Okposo falls into his old ways that will be pretty big trouble for the Islanders.
Guy(s) who could see time in the top 6:
photo courtesy of http://mit.zenfs.com/
1) Ryan Strome
These stats are on the assumption that Strome sees around 40 games in the NHL this season. I think that is in the ballpark of how many he will see because I think he will start the season in Bridgeport. Given that though, I would be surprised if he isn't on the Islanders by the New Year.