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Lomoriello and Trotz Decisions Looming on Walhstrom, Bellows

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New York Islanders roster players practice

Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows will be available to play when the New York Islanders open the season on Thursday, but will they be in the lineup remains a question.

Wahlstrom was listed on the Islanders’ main roster on Wednesday afternoon when the team released its opening night roster, while Bellows was listed among the taxi squad members. However, when Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello met with reporters later he indicated that they were still sorting out where they would be.

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“I don’t think that either one of them has been any final decision,” Lamoriello said. “I think we’ll find that out tomorrow as far ass what decision the coach will make. We have all players available as you know. Players on the taxi and players on the roster that you received today are eligible to travel with us and eligible to play.

“There are different reasons in practice that different people are used at different times.”

Bellows had been skating on a line with Ross Johnston and Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Wednesday morning during practice. Earlier in the same practice, a few players rotated playing on that line, including Wahlstrom.

It was being speculated though that Johnston and Bellows would be the two to open up the year on the wing of Pageau.

“The good thing about it is we’ve got some choices,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ve put ourselves in a place to be flexible with those choices. I’m really happy with some of the young guys and the strides they’ve made. We’re going to see some of our young guys are going to be in the lineups in the future here, if not tomorrow night.”

The Islanders head coach said that both players will get in the lineup during the course of the 56 game season. Bellows and Wahlstrom have a similar skill set, according to Trotz.

He acknowledged their goal-scoring ability and their knack for creating offensive opportunities. There was a difference in one aspect of how they play.

“Kieffer’s game is a little bit small area game,” Trotz said. “Where Wahlly’s is I’ll say a big area game. Wahlly has a release that is an elite release. The other parts of his game continue to get better.”

Outside of the third line, the roster confirmed the rest of the lines will look identical to what they had been during the playoffs last summer.  Mathew Barzal will center Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle, while Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey remain a unit.

After an injury scare on Sunday, Cizikas appeared to be OK and will center the energy line with Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin.

“I think the way our roster is comprised and set up, and staying certainly within the rules, is the best we could ask for,” Lamoriello said. “Though there were players on waivers are going to be very valuable, but we also knew that they would clear because of their salary and also the restrictions on other teams as far as their salary caps. I think it went as planned and now we have the flexibility to use each player depending upon the teams we play and the set of circumstances.”

Islanders Opening Night Roster

FORWARDS

Josh Bailey
Mathew Barzal
Anthony Beauvillier
Casey Cizikas
Cal Clutterbuck
Michael Dal Colle (IR)
Jordan Eberle
Ross Johnston
Leo Komarov
Anders Lee
Matt Martin
Brock Nelson
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Oliver Wahlstrom

DEFENSEMEN

Sebastian Aho
Noah Dobson
Andy Greene
Thomas Hickey
Nick Leddy
Scott Mayfield
Adam Pelech
Ryan Pulock

GOALTENDERS

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

TAXI-SQUAD

Kieffer Bellows
Austin Czarnik
Otto Koivula
Jakub Skarek

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[…] Islanders open up the season against the rival New York Rangers in the first of two games against their Manhattan rivals. The […]

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