New York Islanders 2016-17 NHL Awards Edition
Finalists: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Calvin de Haan
Awarded to: defenseman with greatest all-around ability in the position
At the start of the season, Dennis Seidenberg was a lock for this internal award. His eight points in his first eleven games as an Islander was making Garth Snow like an absolute genius. But Seidenberg’s production slowed. He added another 12 points in the next 71 games.
Yes, it’s true. This isn’t the Art Ross for a defenseman (even though they could still technically win that award. Orr did it twice). But scoring is what win’s games. So it’s a factor in the decision-making process.
And with 46 points, a career year, Nick Leddy is an easy nominee. His play all-around for the Islanders has been fantastic from the day they acquired him in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks three years ago.
In Nick Leddy, the Islanders finally found themselves a top pair defenseman who could push the play forward out of the defensive zone, play over 20 minutes a night against the best opposition and add top tier production.
Johnny Boychuk was added on the same day three years ago and has been just as good. He adds a different dimension to the Islanders blueline. Hard hitting, defensively strong, and with an absolute cannon of a shot.
His 23 points is a regression from the 35 he put up in his first year on the Island, but his season was cut short with injury, playing only 66 games.
Calvin de Haan scored 25 points this season to sit second on the Isles defensive scoring chart. At 25 de Haan is still getting better. He’s already played four full seasons in the NHL and played every game for the Isles this season.
Must Read: Expose Hamonic, Not de Haan
This was a career year for de Haan. Classically used on the third pairing for the Islanders he’s played his way into the top four for next season. Assuming he isn’t taken by Vegas that is.