If the New York Islanders had any trade deadline plans figured out, they might have just been complicated a touch. Casey Cizikas will miss the next three to four weeks with a leg laceration, weakening the Islanders’ depth up front even more. As Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic points out on Twitter, the team had already been searching for a top-nine forward on the trade market. The team has recalled Cole Bardreau from the AHL to take Cizikas’ roster spot after moving him to injured reserve.
The Islanders currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division but have scored just 166 goals in 55 games, fewer than every other Eastern Conference playoff team save for the Columbus Blue Jackets. While Cizikas doesn’t offer a ton of offense, he did score 20 goals last season while thriving under new head coach Barry Trotz. In fact, his ten goals this season ties him with both Derick Brassard and Jordan Eberle, neither of which provide the other sorts of things Cizikas has been known for throughout his career.
The 28-year old is now on his eighth full season with the Islanders and was on track to obliterate his previous career-high in hits with 133 through his first 48 games. He is also winning faceoffs at the best rate of his career and trails only linemate Cal Clutterbuck among forwards in short-handed ice time. Those attributes are exactly the kind that Trotz and GM Lou Lamoriello value in their bottom-six, meaning his absence will be considerable over the next several weeks.