The season started off poorly for New York Islanders winger Anders Lee, scoring a single by Thanksgiving. But the way it ended couldn’t have gone better.
New York Islanders forward Anders Lee had a bad start to the 2016-17 NHL season. What made it worse was the downturn in production he had in 2015-16 after his first rookie season where he scored 25 goals and 41 points.
Lee found himself buried in the Isles depth chart striving to get his game back to a level we’d all expected of him after that earned him ten Calder Trophy votes.
But just before Thanksgiving, November 23rd to be precise, something clicked and Lee couldn’t stop scoring. He scored two that day to increase his total to three on the season. Over the next 62 games, he’d add another 31 goals. Finishing tied with David Pasternak and Patrick Kane with 34 goals.
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You can’t put this one on a change in the system after the departure of Jack Capuano because Jack was still there for another two months.
That pace not only helped the New York Islanders escape the basement of the league but ultimately help the team fight for a playoff spot.
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It’s hard to remember that Anders Lee has only been in the league for three seasons. Technically, it’s four. But that 22 games he played in 2013-14 didn’t count for Calder votes then it shouldn’t count for seniority. Even though anything over ten counts for contracts.
So when the NHL ranked Anders Lee 31st in their top 40 breakout players for 2016-17 it makes sense. If anything that seems a little low considering just what Lee did.
He doesn’t belong in the top ten of the league. Spots held by Conor McDavid, Auston Mathews and Patrik Laine. But below the bottom half for a player that ranked within the top 10 for goals seems a bit low. Doesn’t it?
Rickard Rackell made it to 23 on the list by scoring fewer goals and having fewer points than Lee did. Although he played ten games less than Lee.
It’s nitpicking, I know. I should just be glad that the New York Islanders got some love from the corporate overlords at NHL.com.
Maybe I should just take the list for what it is rather than trying to dissect it or try. It’s clearly not that serious if Brock Nelson made the list after all.