Islanders Community Projection: James Wisniewski

There were some links in the Nino contract post, but you can find some additional news links at the bottom of this post. If you don't know what these Community Projection posts are about, you can check out -- and weigh in on -- yesterday's Kyle Okposo projection.

Last year today's projection subject, James Wisniewski, saw his highest career point total (30), in his healthiest season (69 games), with by far his heaviest ice time (24:21 per game, more than 4 minutes above his previous high). If he stays healthy and suspension-free -- something he hasn't really done yet -- you could see those totals increasing. If he's featured on the first powerplay unit (a thought, but not a foregone conclusion), all the more reason to think his counting numbers will go up.

But he does have knee surgery, groin injuries and some suspensions in his young history, and one reason Anaheim was willing to part with him is they didn't find him to be an ideal fit for that kind of heavy ice time load. No matter how you read it, it should be an interesting season for the Wiz, particularly since he goes from Ducks sign-and-reject at $3.25 million to an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The physical, got-your-back Wisniewski brings more to the table than points. But just for grins, let's dig up some of the 24- to 26-year-old D who have put up around 30 points sometime in the last 10 seasons.

Player Year Age GP G A P +/- PPG
Anton Babchuk 2008-09 24 72 16 19 35 13 9
Dion Phaneuf 2009-10 24 81 12 20 32 1 5
Ron Hainsey 2007-08 26 78 8 24 32 -7 8
Chris Campoli 2008-09 24 76 11 19 30 -16 2
Dennis Wideman 2009-10 26 76 6 24 30 -14 2

I purposely took a wide variety of players from that search at Hockey-Reference. Those seasons created different results: For Babchuk, it got him to up his demands to the point Carolina let him walk to the KHL. For Phaneuf, it was a trade-igniting disappointment in what was once seen as a rising career, while Wideman too was traded this summer after putting up what was a disappointing year by the standard he'd created in Boston.

For Hainsey, it got him a big contract from the Thrashers -- for whom he went up to 39 points before falling back to 26 last season. I think we all remember what Campoli was like that year. (He followed it up with an 18-point season in 67 games last year.)

So is Wisniewski on the way up or will he level off after logging 24-plus minutes last seson? Here are his last three seasons:

James Wisniewski Age GP G A Pts. +/- PPG PIM
2007-08 23 68 7 19 26 12 1 103
2008-09 24 48 3 21 24 9 1 30
2009-19 25 69 3 27 30 -5 2 56

Wisniewski logged 2:32 per game on the PP last year -- less than Scott Niedermayer's 3:58 and less than new teammate Mark Streit's 5:12. If there are more goals to be had, I'd suspect they come there. If there are more assists to be had, it would have to come from there as well as some increased finishing among the Islanders' young forwards.

As with yesterday's Okposo post, your assignment is to at minimum tell us in comments what you guess will be Wisniewski's G-A-Pts total, but I'd encourage you to add games played and PIMs, too. You can throw a guess as simple as:

75 GP, 7G, 24A, 31P, 75 PIM

 

Bits and Bytes from yesterday

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