I don’t think I can add anything more to Gary’s review on Mr. Wishart. He was the guy who came over in the Roloson deal, and he was touted to be a top 4 defenseman as far as potential was concerned. I had done a lot of reading on the guy at the time, and I was hopeful that Garth Snow might have gotten a hold of another hidden gem.
His call up was part of the revolving door defense the Isles were forced to use because of the rash of injuries on the back line. Perhaps, he was another blue liner who was not quite ready for prime time, but had to get his baptism by fire in the NHL because of circumstances. The Islanders needed a body on defense, and there was no better time at that point to see what we got in Ty Wishart. So, shortly after the trade that brought him here, he was inserted into the lineup.
Wishart played a total of 20 games with the big club over the spam of a couple of call ups from the Port. He wasn’t exactly a standout as far as his performance, but he filled the gap well enough. He picked up a goal and 4 assists, and we did see some flashes of the offensive capabilities he was said to possess. He definitely could pass and move the puck, and his shot was pretty good.
Overall, though, I would also have to give him a C rating. There were times where it was clear that if the Isles did not have so any injuries, Wishart would still have been playing in Bridgeport developing further. I wouldn’t go as far as calling him a “liability” at any time, but he surely did look out of place in a few instances.
Now, defensemen do develop more slowly than guys on offense. Ty Wishart certainly has badly needed size for the back line. I believe he is 6’4 or so, and this, to me is an asset. However, the “knock” on him had been that he doesn’t play the body effectively for a guy his size, and needs to develop a bit of a “mean streak” to earn himself a place in the NHL. To me, this was all apparent at times over the 20 games he played.
So, what part in the defensive picture he will play in the future will come down to him and how he is developed. I believe that he has the potential to become a good NHL D-man. He will, though, have to earn a spot on the Islanders with his play, as there will be far more bodies than spots available come September.
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