Nikita Soshnikov #41 of the Islanders skates during the first period...

Nikita Soshnikov #41 of the Islanders skates during the first period against the Florida Panthers at UBS Arena on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 in Elmont, New York. Credit: Jim McIsaac

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Islanders didn’t lose Nikita Soshnikov off waivers as they did Kieffer Bellows to the Flyers three weeks ago.

Still, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello seems to be seeking a different mix for his forward depth as the Islanders continue a four-game road swing on Thursday night against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena having won nine of their last 11.

Soshnikov cleared waivers on Wednesday after being placed on them 24 hours earlier. He participated in the Islanders’ practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow before the team departed for Nashville but the team announced later the 29-year-old Russian had been loaned to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Soshnikov has played three games without a point for the Islanders after signing a one-year deal worth $750,000 for either NHL or AHL service. He spent the previous three seasons in the KHL after injury issues ended his first NHL tenure after 87 games for the Maple Leafs and Blues from 2016-18.

If Soshnikov opts to ask to return to the KHL rather than play in the AHL, the Islanders could seek unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.

Coach Lane Lambert has been fairly steady with which 12 forwards he uses. Bellows, the 19th overall pick in 2016, played in just the season opener while Oliver Wahlstrom recovered from a preseason injury before the Flyers claimed him off waivers on Oct. 27.

Ross Johnston has played three games with one assist, usually when Lambert wants extra muscle in the lineup as was the case for Monday’s 4-2 win in Ottawa to open the road stretch.

“We know what we are in terms of a balanced team,” Lambert said after Wednesday’s fully-attended practice. “A four-line team. Everyone has to contribute in order for us to have success.”

Johnston was in Monday’s lineup as Lambert made Josh Bailey, who has three goals and two assists in 15 games, a healthy scratch for the second time this season. Anthony Beauvillier, with three goals and four assists in 16 games, has also had a sluggish season offensively.

So Lamoriello could be looking to try and bolster the Islanders’ production from within the organization first.

Ruslan Iskhakov, who is leading Bridgeport with four goals and 10 assists in 12 games, Simon Holmstrom (three goals, two assists) and Aatu Raty (two goals, four assists) are among the prospects who could garner an NHL look.

The Islanders are ninth in the NHL with 57 goals. More importantly, their goal differential of plus-14 is fifth in the league.

“We’re comfortable in any situation,” defenseman Scott Mayfield said. “At the start of the year, we were still trying to figure out systems a little bit more. But I think we’ve gotten a little bit stronger in that area.”

Notes & quotes: Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky and current Mets broadcaster Todd Zeile will be the national honorees on Thursday night at the Greenwich Old Timers Athletic Association awards dinner in Stamford, Connecticut.

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