While some players like Josh Bailey and Anders Lee had career years it wasn’t that was for these three New York Islanders last year. But, don’t worry they can bounce back in 2017-2018.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 season, when the New York Islanders were continually blowing leads in the third period, it looked like it would be a down year for just about everyone except Josh Bailey.
By the time 2017 rolled around and the switch to Doug Weight was made the Isles snapped out of their losing ways and went from one the league’s worst teams to a team on the brink of a playoff spot.
While a majority of the team thrived under the new regime there were a select few who still struggled and ended up having a poor season. I’ve come up with a list of three players who had a down year in 2016-2017 that will be going back to their old ways this upcoming season.
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Last offseason the Isles signed Andrew Ladd to a big contract, but he didn;t live up to that $5.5 million cap hit of his last year. He struggled mightily out of the gate. It took him six games to record a point and 13 before he netted his first goal of the year.
Ladd was brought in to replace Kyle Okposo and he was nowhere near Okposo’s production level. He ended up scoring a decent amount of goals on the year (23) but with only eight assists 31 points is nowhere near the production the Isles signed up for.
The goal total will likely remain the same which is fine, he seems to be someone who will score around 25 goals a season (plus or minus a few) just based on his track record.
Maybe Ladd never plays on that top line with John Tavares after all, but I expect him to eclipse the 40 point mark with ease. There’s no way he puts up eight assists again…right?
As much as I like Travis Hamonic, we have to call it like we see it and he was downright awful in 2016-2017. He played in just 49 games and he wasn’t close to his normal offensive or defensive production.
Offensively he put up 14 points which is the second lowest of his career (10 in the shortened 2012-2013 season is his lowest). Defensively he was a disaster as well he posted a minus-21 on the season.
It seemed like he was on the ice for every big goal coming against the Islanders. What made it extra tough on Hamonic was that he was the center of trade discussions before the season, and when he put up those putrid numbers it didn’t help his case against Islander fans who wanted him gone.
Whether it’s for the Islanders or some other team (Edmonton or Colorado) Hamonic will be better in 2017-2018. He’s too talented and too young to be on the decline not to bounce back. He’s a very solid second pairing defenseman and there’s value there.
After Ryan Strome‘s strong 2014-2015 performance he hasn’t been the same since. In his first full season in the league that year he put up 50 points. Since then he followed that up with 28 and 30.
Like many of the Islanders he turned his season around a bit last year but unfortunately it was cut short due to injury. I think under a full year of Doug Weight Strome bounces back and puts up solid numbers again.
I’m not going to give away my final stat line prediction for him, we like to save those for later in the summer but I will say this. Don’t be surprised if you see him with 40 or more points next year.
The Islanders need more scoring, that’s been the problem in recent memory. With the addition of a Matt Duchene or Jordan Eberle along with the likes of Strome and Ladd snapping out of it the team could be in half decent shape.