3 Islanders With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The New York Islanders have continued to be a very strong defensive team. While this is good in one aspect, it puts pressure and scrutiny on the forwards to score and pull their weight. The Islanders just made the postseason in 2022-23 and without making any notable changes to the lineup at all, are expecting to come back stronger. There are a lot of players who will have to up their production, but three in particular who will have something to prove.

Bo Horvat

You have probably heard all about it by now, but Bo Horvat was two different players with the Vancouver Canucks and the Islanders last season. He scored 31 goals and 54 points in 49 games with the Canucks, but only managed seven goals and 16 points in 30 games for the Islanders. The team hoped that they would be getting the Horvat that was putting up elite offensive numbers, but that wasn't the case. He fell victim to the shutdown game the team played, and produced a bit more like how his career numbers suggest. With the big contract he signed, he will have to pick up his scoring on the Islanders and will have pressure to do so.

Oliver Wahlstrom

Oliver Wahlstrom was arguably rushed to the NHL and was in and out of the lineup for a couple of years. He wasn't exactly having a great season in 2022-23 either before his injury, but that cut his year in half. The Islanders continue to need more offense, and Wahlstrom is one of the young players they are hopeful can provide that. He will be in a second/third line role on the wing and needs to show improvement at 23 years old now.

Pierre Engvall

Pierre Engvall was dealt to the Islanders last season and not only got more playing time, but did better offensively. This was what the Islanders needed, except I see him as a third line winger, not a second line player. In typical Lou Lamoriello fashion, Engvall got a seven-year, $3 million AAV deal. He needs to start off on the right foot and with a top-six role, will need to put up more points. He's hit 30 points in consecutive seasons, but that's not good enough for a team that is desperately needing scoring.

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