Gamers who thought the New York Islanders would become fodder in ‘NHL 16’ following the losses of Matt Martin, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo have a few surprises in store for them. Adding speed, playmaking ability, grit and more balance, the acquisitions of Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and PA Parenteau over the past few days have done a few things to change the dynamics of the Islanders in ‘NHL 16’.
The first line of Ladd, Parenteau and Islanders captain John Tavares gives the team their prettiest top line on paper since Matt Moulson was paired with Tavares and Parenteau fives years ago. It also gives the Islanders someone to pass to Tavares, who has one of the most impressive shots in the game. Able to snipe as well as pass, Tavares is deadlier when he has someone who can find him the puck. Parenteau is that guy. With Ladd on the ice as well, picking up dirty goals and making space, the Islanders are just as much fun to play with as ever.
Other Three Lines Improve with PA
With Parenteau now on the first line, the Islanders can move former first round pick Ryan Strome to center the second line with Anders Lee and Josh Bailey. This could easily be dubbed the “With Great Power” line because with the added responsibility of playing with each other could come great rewards. Or it could be a disaster. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare.
The third line is where things get even more interesting. The way it looks now, Brock Nelson will center a line with Nikolay Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski/Shane Prince, which could be a fun energy line or one that just takes up space. When focused, Nelson can snipe and Kulemin is a shifty player that can have moments of his own. Prince is a young speedster that can score a dozen or so goals and Grabovski is dynamic, when healthy. Much like the second line, anything can happen here.
Much like last season, the Islanders fourth line appears pretty steady. Although they lost some grit with the departure of Martin, the acquisition of Chimera gives the Isles bottom three forwards extra speed and offensive ability. Add in Casey Cizikas’ dependability and Cal Clutterbuck’s shot and grit and it’s still one of the best fourth lines in the NHL without the reigning and defending NHL hits leader.
Take a look below at how the Islanders would play with Parenteau, Ladd and Chimera in the lineup in EA Sports ‘NHL 16’.
Over the past ten years as a working journalist, Patrick Hickey Jr. has covered the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as well as the Brooklyn Aces of the former EPHL, contributing pieces and/or holding Editorial positions at NBC, New York Sports Day, NY Sportscene Magazine and the New York Times. During that time, he has interviewed NHL stars the likes of Brendan Shanahan, Bernie Nicholls, Bob Probert, Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise. He is also the first winner of the New York Islanders Blog of the Year Award, for his work on TheDriveForFive.com in 2008.