The island’s defender Robin Salo may not have a place after the COVID break

It is unclear how many of their top six defenders, other than the injured Ryan Pulock, Islanders will have available when they resume their season following a COVID-19 outburst. So there may no longer be an immediate space for Robin Salo.

But in his first North American season, the Finnish rookie has shown glimpses during his four NHL games as a filler for the COVID-19 and injured Islanders to indicate that he will eventually be a regular.

“I think he’s a bright young defender who’s likely to be part of the organization for a number of years,” coach Barry Trotz said before the Islanders’ season was halted.

Monday marked the second day of the islanders’ COVID-19 break, with Wednesday being the earliest they could resume training. It is assumed that there are no new positive tests in the organization for three days in a row, from Sunday.

Neither the NHL nor the Islanders have announced further positive results since the NHL on Saturday – after Casey Cizikas became the eighth player to be tested positive – announced that it postponed Sunday’s game against Rangers at MSG and Tuesday night’s away game against the Flyers. The Islanders are scheduled to play against the Sharks on Thursday night at UBS Arena.

No new announcements of further positive tests are not necessarily an indication in one way or another because it is not mandatory to publish such news while Islanders season is on hiatus.

It is believed that there have been no new positive tests so far.

In addition to Cizikas, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Ross Johnston, Kieffer Bellows and defenders Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara have tested positive. Bailey, the first to be tested positive on Nov. 16, resumed skating with the Islanders on Saturday, the team’s final training session before being shut down.

Three unidentified non-playing members of the organization also tested positive. All members of the organization have been vaccinated.

The last Islanders, who have lost eight in a row, played without five of their top six defenders in a 4-1 loss to Rangers at UBS Arena last Wednesday. Noah Dobson, who missed that match with a lower body problem, joined Scott Mayfield as the only top-six defenders in a row for Friday’s 1-0 loss to the visiting Penguins.

The 6-2, 192-pound Salo, a second-round pick in 2017 who spent the previous two seasons in the Swedish hockey league, has gone without a point and is a minus-4 in his four games. But he has shown the offensive instincts and puck movement skills that the Islanders have lacked after swapping Devon Toews and Nick Leddy in successive offseasons.

“There are a lot of things he does when he distributes the puck,” Trotz said. “He makes really good decisions … Some of the things where you can see that he’s a young player are when things get a little hairy, he starts following people … There’s not the balance that a Pelech wanted. You grow into it. “


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