The New York Islanders are coming off a disappointing season. They entered with Stanley Cup aspirations but never recovered from a 5-10-5 start. They ended up firing head coach Barry Trotz along the way.
The main question those who bet online are wondering is how much this team will change under Lane Lambert. The Isles were a defensive juggernaut under Trotz, so now what’s their identity?
Until we know that, it makes it tough to invest in their futures and their day-to-day NHL betting odds.
New York Islanders Odds
- To win Stanley Cup +3300
- To win Eastern Conference +1600
- To win Metropolitan Division +750
- To make playoffs Yes -115/ No -115
Player to Watch
Alexander Romanov should be one of the best new additions to the Islanders this season. The defenseman is just 22 years old and was acquired during a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on July 7th.
New York had to give away their first-round draft pick to get him, but the hope is that he makes an instant impact (versus waiting for a rookie to develop).
Romanov had 13 points in 79 games a year ago but led the Canadiens in blocked shots, hits, and shorthanded ice time. Those are all filling in problems that the Islanders have had in recent memory, particularly on the defensive end.
If he slots in on the second pair as expected, he will bring a physicality that the Islanders like to have on their roster.
Assuming he can also develop his offensive skillset, he has incredible potential to help the Islanders out this season.
Player to Watch: D Alexander Romanov
One guy that could take his game to the next level moving forward is Oliver Wahlstrom. Wahlstrom has scored 25 goals in 117 games throughout the past two seasons, and some have said he has the best shot on the team right now.
He appears to be the perfect fit next to a center like Matthew Barzal and might even get significant ice time alongside him.
The area he needs to improve on is accuracy, as he shot just 8.3 percent last year and 12.8 percent in 2020-21.
If he can get a lot of ice time with Barzal, we might be able to see serious improvement in those numbers as well as his overall stats in 2022.
The Islanders can certainly benefit from that. They need all the offensive help they can get after finishing 23rd in the NHL last season at 2.79 goals per game.
Breakout Watch: Oliver Wahlstrom
Thirteen straight games played on the road isn’t exactly how you want to start your season. That’s what the Islanders had to go through last season, leading to a bad start they couldn’t recover from.
The Trotz firing was curious as the team had generally been strong under his watch. Between COVID-19 and the scheduling mess, he probably could have and should have stayed. The team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Now, what happens under Lambert? He’s a vocal coach who wants this team to play much faster, but do they have the parts to make that work?
The roster is nearly identical to last year, but Trotz has a habit of getting his squads to overachieve. He’s had to make more with less throughout his career, and he’s generally been successful.
We don’t know what Lambert will deliver now that he’s running the show. That’s why you have to be cautious with the NHL odds with this team.
Until we know more, they’re a pass on all NHL picks regarding futures.