The New York Islanders have announced a couple of roster moves ahead of tomorrow night’s matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Islanders announced that defenseman Samuel Bolduc has been recalled from Bridgeport and in a subsequent move Otto Koivula has been sent back to Bridgeport on loan.
Bolduc was the Islanders 2019 second round pick and was an AHL all-star this season with 35 points in 56 games. He’s dressed in six games with the Islanders notching a single goal while averaging over 15 minutes of ice time per game. Bolduc will likely replace Sebastian Aho after Aho was injured in Saturday’s 4-1 win over San Jose with an apparent upper body injury.
Bolduc has had quite the bounce back after struggling through most of last season. In 57 games last year he managed only 7 points and looked lost at times. Now a year later the Laval native has found his game and will get another opportunity at the NHL level.
For Otto Koivula he once again finds himself shuttled back to Bridgeport in what is now his fifth season in the AHL. Koivula managed two assists in eight games while with the big club which brings his NHL point total to four assists in 26 career NHL games. Koivula has been a dependable scorer in the AHL in previous seasons but has struggled this year with just 25 points in 45 AHL games. Koivula still hasn’t been able to use his 6’5” frame to turn into the power forward the Islanders hoped he would become when they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL entry draft. At 24 years of age time could be running out for the young Finn to establish himself as an everyday NHL forward.
The Islanders currently sit in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference two points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins and three points up on the Florida Panthers, although both teams have games in hand on the Islanders. They are still without the services of Mathew Barzal who has been out of their lineup for over a month with a lower body injury. This has further depleted the offense for a team that already struggled to score goals this season. With very little margin for error, Bolduc will likely be expected to come into the Islanders lineup to provide them with sound defensive hockey.