New York Islanders: 2 Biggest Surprises Of The Season

Every NHL team has now played 20 games this season, so we are starting to get a better understanding of what to expect from them moving forward. There have been certain players who have been big surprises thus far and it feels fair to shine a light on them. In this series, we will be looking at two from each team who certainly can be classified as that.

In this piece, we will be focusing on the New York Islanders. After just missing out on the Stanley Cup Final last season, they now are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with an 8-12-6 record. It's fair to say that many of their players are underachieving this campaign, too. Yet, these two have been nice surprises for them.

Austin Czarnik: Although the sample size has been small, Austin Czarnik has been a nice little surprise for the Islanders. In five games, he has a goal and three points. With that, he has more points than Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin who are mainstays in the Islanders' bottom six. With this kind of start, the 29-year-old may be New York's primary call-up option when injuries and illnesses occur for the remainder of the season.

Kieffer Bellows: Kieffer Bellows is starting to show real signs of improvement. Although many players on the team are struggling, he's playing the best hockey of his NHL career right now. In 12 games thus far, the 2016 first-round pick has two goals and five points. With this, he averaging just under a point every two games. Furthermore, unlike the vast majority of his teammates, he actually has a plus rating (plus-1). If he can continue to play this well from here, he surely will cement himself a spot on the Islanders' NHL roster permanently. 

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