If it’s something the New York Islanders have it’s a surplus of young defensive talent. Whether it’s in the NHL or with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, they are definitely making a name for themselves.
New York Islanders young defensemen Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield have had to step up this season when injuries sidelined the top pairing defensemen. They have seized the moment up to a point where they are forcing their way onto the lineup night in, night out.
Adam Pelech is the more steady defenseman. He isn’t the flashy play-making type but he can work his angles pretty well defensively. He’s fitting into what you’d call a stay-at-home defensive role. Pairing him with Nick Leddy has been genius.
Clearly, Pelech isn’t a high scoring defenseman, what with seven points in the 33 games for the Islanders. However, the 22-year-old’s solid defensive consistency makes up for this and proving himself to be a reliable NHL caliber defensemen.
New York Islanders
When it comes to Scott Mayfield, there’s more grit to his game. He’s not afraid to make himself known on the ice in terms of physicality.Obviously being 6 ft 4 helps.
This serves to make opposing players uncomfortable and can help shift the momentum of the game in the Isles’ favor.
Combine this with his smart defensive skills and we should have ourselves a keeper. Moreover, he is willing to drop the gloves, which has been a rarity with New York Islanders players this season.
(Personally, I’m big fan of the physical aspect of the game. It gets the fans into it and it brings out the urgency and importance of the two points on the line, especially at this point of the season.)
You can’t really talk about young promising defensemen without mentioning Ryan Pulock. He would do wonders for the slumping power play right now with that cannon of a shot he has. And even more so with Johnny Boychuk being out of the lineup due to injury.
Pulock has been tearing it up this season in Bridgeport with 35 points in 42 games. If it hadn’t been for his injury in the beginning of the season, I’m convinced that he would have been a regular. We all know he’s a proven NHL ready defenseman. Last season he appeared in a total of 15 games for the Islanders, six of which playoff games.
A notable mention here has to be Devon Toews. The 23-year-old defenseman is yet to play an NHL game but he is opening some eyes in the AHL. He won this season’s fastest skater competition in this league’s All-Star game. He also has 38 points in a span of 63 games.
With the expansion draft looming, I think the New York Islanders are going to lose a defenseman to the new Vegas team. This could either mean a loss for the Isles or the opening of a spot in the lineup. Whichever way you look at it, I think we can all agree that it can’t be Ryan Pulock on that Vegas roster. He needs to be protected.