26-Year-Old Center – New York Islanders
Casey Cizikas Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $16.75 million contract with the Islanders in June of 2016.
Cizikas (upper body) was on the ice for a training camp session Friday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Fresh off a season where he put up a career-high 29 points, the restricted free agent to-be wasted no time in signing a five-year extension before the calendar flipped to July. A solid and dependable two-way center, the 25-year old brings a ton of sandpaper to the Islanders on the fourth line as one of the better checking centers in the NHL. Though the abrasive Cizikas doesnít figure to light up the scoresheet on a team loaded with offensive talent up the middle, the Islanders brass thought enough of his future to commit an annual cap hit of $3.35 million to their young forward just entering his prime. Perhaps they see a brighter future on the horizon in terms of his offensive game, and while itís tough to get excited about a fourth-liner for fantasy purposes, Cizikas could make for a very sneaky play in daily formats and the very deepest season-long leagues.
Cizikas is never going to be one to light up the scoreboard, but he is a part of what might be the best fourth line in hockey. The Isles use this line (which also includes Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck) as an energy line. When they play, they pretty much hit anything and everything, and scoring is just a bonus.
Cizikas is the kind of player most teams would love to have - a high energy player who can add some jump to the fourth line. The problem he has is that the Islanders have quickly become loaded at center with John Tavares, Frans Nielsen, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Strome, and Anders Lee. Simple math tells you that not everyone can play center or remain on the team. Cizikas could end up being that odd person out.
Cizikas was finally given his chance to earn a full-time role with the Isles and responded positively as a bottom-six forward. He's not likely to see a promotion this season as he is what he is -- a checking forward whose job it is to keep the other team's best offensive players in check. That being said, double digit goals should be within his capability.
Cizikas played 15 games with the Isles last season without scoring a goal but he is expected to develop into a solid offensive player for the organization. The biggest problem for Cizikas could be where to play him. He is a center, but the Isles already have John Tavares, Frans Nielsen and up-and-coming star Ryan Strome at the position. Cizikas may have to learn to play one of the wings in order to become a top six forward for the club, as his opportunities are limited heading into camp.
Cizikas is set to begin his professional career this season, most likely with Bridgeport of the AHL. He is not the Islanders' top prospect but certainly is someone who could develop into a top-six forward. Cizikas had 54 goals between his last two seasons in the AHL and could be ready to fight for a roster spot as soon as October of 2012.
Cizikas is only 19 years of age, but is progressing nicely through the Islanders system. He had his best season to date with Mississauga of the OHL with 25 goals and 62 points last season. He is still two or three years away from being ready to compete for a spot with the Isles however.
Drafted in the fourth round by the Islanders in the 2009 Draft, Cizikas will play for Mississauga (OHL) in 2009-10. He needs a lot of seasoning before being considered for a spot in the NHL.