The New York Islanders have found themselves in a sticky situation as they head into a four-game road trip that will keep them away from Long Island until next Tuesday,
Yesterday morning, defenseman Brian Strait was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to October 24. Strait, who had struggled prior to his injury, has missed the team’s last five games due to an upper-body injury, and will not be traveling with the team to Washington, the destination for the first game of the team’s road trip.
With the team’s lack of blue-line depth heading into their travels, it would be fair to guess that the Islanders, who are currently slated to bring only six defensemen with them to the Verizon Center, will be making a move – one, most likely, in the form of a call-up from Bridgeport.
Who are the candidates?
Calvin de Haan
The Islanders 12th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, de Haan has only one NHL game of experience under his belt. Calvin’s development has been greatly derailed by a multitude of shoulder injuries spanning from his junior hockey days to his professional career.
Calvin de Haan appears to be healthy early into the 2013-14 AHL season, and while his production has been underwhelming (one assist in nine games this season), the yound d-man could be worth a look, especially on the power play, where the Islanders have struggled since Lubomir Visnovsky’s injury.
The Islanders have familiarity with Ness, who saw nine games in the NHL during the 2011-12 season. Ness has tallied twenty-seven points in each of his last two seasons, and has four through nine games this season, with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Aaron is small in size (5’10), but if the Isles choose to go the way of experience, he’s the go-to-guy for this particular trip.
Standing at 6’4, 215 pounds, Pedan is in the midst of his first full professional season of hockey. Through six games this season, Andrey has recorded one goal and three assists, but a few healthy scratches this early on into the season suggests the Islanders do not have plans to rush his development. As Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin said about the decision to scratch Pedan, “it’s all just part of the development process.”
Like Pedan, Mayfield is another big prospect (6’4, 210 pounds) that would instantly add size and toughness to the Islanders blue-line. Also like Pedan, Mayfield has just entered the first full professional season of his young hockey career. While Scott has played in all nine of the Sound Tigers games this season, it’s also probably safe to say the Islanders aren’t interested in rushing his development either. Mayfield has recorded his first professional goal and assist this season.
Did I miss anybody? Who would you recall, if the Islanders choose to do so?