Islanders goalie Chad Johnson watches as the first goal by...

Islanders goalie Chad Johnson watches as the first goal by the Bosotn Bruins goes past him during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Bridgeport, Conn., on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Credit: AP / Fred Beckham

Johnny Boychuk

The mainstay of an elite Bruins defense joined the Islanders just last week, but he already is trying to lead by example and by words. "People shouldn't take us lightly anymore," he said, and that was after one practice as an Islander. He is the veteran defenseman the young Isles 'D' needs and provides the big shot from the point the power play certainly could use. He was a steady but complementary player on a Boston 'D' with Zdeno Chara; here, Boychuk can be the man.Mikhail Grabovski

Considering the Isles are his third team in three seasons, Grabovski may feel he has something to prove, even though his falling out and buyout from the Leafs was seen as a mistake by Toronto. Grabovski did fine in Washington last season, but he's only seen the playoffs once, back in 2012-13. Starting the year on the wing with youngsters Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome, Grabovski could recover his confidence at both ends of the ice and be a second-line force.Chad Johnson

Sure, Jaroslav Halak is the presumptive No. 1 goaltender, but No. 1 hasn't been the biggest trouble spot for the Islanders in recent seasons. They haven't had a reliable backup to step in when needed. Johnson is only 28, but his first full season as an NHL backup in Boston last year was a solid success. If he can increase his workload a bit and step in when needed, the Isles will be light years ahead of the past few seasons.

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