With his hard-hitting, agitating style, Cizikas found a home in the New York Islanders lineup. The 5-foot-11, 201-pound center did so by slowly working his way up.
Cizikas was selected by the Islanders in the fourth round (No. 92) in the 2009 NHL Draft after playing two seasons with Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. He remained with Mississauga two more seasons, scoring 54 goals and 126 points, and served as captain in 2010-11. Cizikas also won a silver medal with Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship.