The results of Thomas Hickey’s medical evaluation after an awkward crash into the boards in Colorado have led the Islanders to place the defenseman on injured reserve.
In conjunction with the move, it has opened up an opportunity for Devon Toews, recalled from AHL Bridgeport during their Western road trip.
Toews is the team’s top defensive pro-in-waiting, but he’s yet to make his NHL debut thanks in part to untimely injuries interrupting two outstanding season in the AHL. This season he’s on a one-way contract but was assigned to Bridgeport essentially because he did not require waivers. He has 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) in 24 games this season after putting up 22 points in 30 games in 2017-18 before a season-ending shoulder injury.
Hickey is a quietly important defenseman to the Islanders, so his injury is not easily overlooked. But Toews is quite promising, and this opportunity could pay off if he’s able to appear in some games and make it hard for them to return him to the minors.
It would not shock me if Devon Toews does not wind up returning to Bridgeport (AHL).— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 19, 2018
I would agree with this. He's flying across the country today, dealing with a time change and he wouldn't even have a practice before his NHL debut. Sbisa is certainly capable of playing again. https://t.co/ygWdKZp6oK— Brendan Burke (@brendanmburke) December 19, 2018
Combine this with Josh Ho-Sang’s recent recall — so far, impressing coach Barry Trotz in the areas the Isles wanted him to address — and the Islanders could be getting a mid-season talent infusion to a veteran-heavy team that has established management’s much-sought new “culture” and attention to in-game detail.