EAST MEADOW, NY — The New York Islanders escaped injuries for a bit, as it was just a waiting game before defenseman Adam Pelech and forward Kyle Palmieri returned from their upper-body injuries. Forward Oliver Wahlstrom remains on the shelf, out indefinitely, and likley out the rest of the season.
In that loss, the Islanders lost Cal Clutterbuck in the second period to an upper-body injury. He was listed as day-to-day, but the Islanders announced he would be out indefinitely.
Clutterbuck has been in and out of the lineup all season long, missing 13 games this season with various injuries.
At the age of 35, Clutterbuck’s future seems to be a significant question mark at this point as he is struggling to stay healthy. Another concern is that he has struggled to get through games, which means more pressure on a struggling team, with players having to double shift often.
With Clutterbuck down, the Islanders have recalled center Aatu Räty.
The 20-year-old played seven games with the Islanders from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6, scoring two goals over that span and showcasing strong positional play. While up, he played as the fourth-line center but is a top-six player.
In 27 games with the Bridgeport Islanders (AHL), Räty has seven goals and eight assists.
With Räty having seven NHL games under his belt, that leaves him with only two games to spare before he burns a year off his entry-level contract.
Here’s how that works:
We shall see what kind of role Räty plays in his second NHL stint. Islanders head coach Lane Lambert was pleased with his play but only played him an average of 8:25 minutes a night. He took line rushes with Ross Johnston and Matt Martin, with Casey Cizikas on Mat Barzal’s wing.
The New York Islanders currently sit two points out of the second wild-card spot, averaging two goals per game over their last 10. They could use Räty’s offense right now.