Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo unsure of futures with Islanders

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo unsure of futures with Islanders
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

SYOSSET, N.Y. — Last year at this time New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow knew to expect that the lineup that left the ice in Round 1 against the Washington Capitals would be very similar to the one starting the 2015-16 season.

A year later, the roster could see a makeover as Snow has a busy summer ahead in order to help the franchise continue its progression.

One bit of summer uncertainty was cleared on Tuesday when it was announced Travis Hamonic had rescinded his trade request. But Snow still has three big unrestricted free agents — Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin — and a number of restricted free agents, including Ryan Strome, Casey Cizikas and Shane Prince to decide on.

Okposo is the biggest name and his offensive output — 22-goals, 61-point average over the last three seasons — is something the Islanders would like to continue to have on the roster in part to help captain John Tavares. But according to the 28-year-old forward, Snow and his agent did not hold talks during the season.

“I knew pretty early there weren’t going to be any talks so I did my best not to think about it,” Okposo said during locker clean out day. “I’m looking forward to making some decisions. There’s definitely a little bit of uncertainty, but it comes with the territory.”

Like many Islanders, Okposo has grown up in the Islanders’ organization after being the team’s first-round pick in 2006.

Then you have Frans Nielsen, who is the longest-tenured player on the roster after being drafted in 2002. Like Okposo, he’s a UFA this summer, and has seen the franchise go from a laughing stock in the NHL to one that’s posted back-to-back 100-point seasons with three playoff berths in four seasons.

“It’s going to be a little bit interesting,” said Nielsen. “It’s a weird feeling, for sure, not knowing if you’re going to be back or not. I love being here and I would love to be back. We’ll see what happens.” 

According to Cap Friendly, heading into the summer the Islanders have a little under $20 million in cap space before re-signing anyone, with the wish list likely beginning with another top-end forward or two. The current core has helped elevate the franchise to where it is today, but as they've found out in two straight postseasons, you need offensive depth this time of year in order to be successful.

- - - - - - -

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting