The New York Islanders are unlikely to have defenceman Johnny Boychuk available for the team’s second play-in game against the Florida Panthers. Boychuk only played 5:17 in the first game, which New York won 2-1. The team will have several options warm-up including Andy Greene and Noah Dobson. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple revealed the Boychuk news Monday afternoon.
Johnny Boychuk Unlikely Next Game
Boychuk was a marginal player during the 2019-20 regular season. The 36-year-old defenceman had just two goals and 11 points in 64 games. Boychuk has never been a major scoring threat but this is almost a new career-low for points. The only season worse was 2012-13, not including the five games from his first two years. 2019-20 is also Boychuk’s lowest average ice time for a full season with just 17:17 per game. However, the veteran was still a respectable physical presence. Boychuk was credited with 135 hits and 128 blocks. He was second in both categories.
The Colorado Avalanche originally drafted Boychuk in the second round of the 2002 Draft. he debuted in 2007-08 but his first real season came with the Boston Bruins in 2009-10. That is the first time Boychuk skated in more than 10 games. He scored five goals and 15 points in 51 games as he finished eleventh in the Calder Trophy race that ultimately went to Tyler Myers. Boychuk currently has 54 goals and 206 points in 725 games. He also has 1475 hits and 1326 blocks.
What This Means for the Future
The Islanders won their last game without much from Boychuk and can likely do it again. Andy Green is another ageing veteran defender but he does have 50 games of postseason experience. He can easily take Boychuk’s spot supporting the penalty kill. Dobson is the wildcard. He is just 20-years old but had a decent debut season this year. The former first-round selection from the 2018 Draft had one goal and seven points in 34 games. The rookie has upside but the Islanders might not push him in a series they are already leading.