Throughout the next month plus, we’ll be reviewing the season that was and over-analyzing the various players that contributed to it. That’s what the offseason is for, after all. This is the second in the series. Read them all here.
Casey Cizikas — LW/C – #53
6-9-15 in 45 games
Most often seen: on the Isles’ energy line
Contract status: ELC through 2013-14, $900k in 2012-13 (900k cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: sealing Game Four with a late goal
Thoughts on 2012-13: After getting a late call up for the 2011-12 season, Cizikas spent his first full season on Long Island in 2013. He tallied 15 points in 45 games, spending the majority of his time on the team’s energy line with Matt Martin, splitting time between left wing and center, depending on how the lineup shook out.
Cizikas was an energy player for the Islanders, and was credited with 75 hits, which was third on the team behind his linemate Martin and occasional linemate Colin McDonald. He also contributed from the faceoff dot by winning 52% of his draws.
While Cizikas isn’t a goal scorer and should never be expected to be one, but he contributed two goals in the series against the Penguins.
Cizikas is the kind of player that the Islanders have been missing for a long time. For years they’ve had minor leaguers skating on the bottom line who were either looking for one more shot at the NHL or sort of desperation signings by the team. Cizikas is never going to be a top-six forward but he appears to be a perfectly tailed bottom-six guy who can hit, take face offs, and contribute a little offense from time to time. His relative corsi leaves a bit to be desired (-4.16) but he showed this year that he has an important role on the team and, at only 22, has a lot of room for improvement.
Cizikas will be hitting the third year of his three-year entry level contract in 2013-14, so he’s not a contract concern until next summer.
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.