New York Islanders: Andrew Ladd Quietly Producing
By Matt O'Leary
New York Islanders left winger Andrew Ladd is quietly producing and play quite well, yesterday in Philadelphia personified that.
Andrew Ladd’s first year with the New York Islanders was a disappointing one. Sure, he produced 23 goals which was expected, but with only eight assists he had just 31 points on the season, far underachieving in year one of his seven-year deal.
So far, 2017-2018 has been much different. Andrew Ladd is quietly having a productive year, as yesterday in Philly was one of his better games of the season.
He had two points in the Islanders comeback win, an assist and the game-tying goal. That bumped him up to 11 points on the season (5 goals, 6 assists).
That kind of a pace has him at 19 goals and 41 points on the season. Granted, it’s not worth his $5.5 million a year cap hit, but it’d be a 10 point increase from what we saw from him last year.
What makes this even better for the Islanders is they aren’t relying on Ladd as much as they were last year. He was brought in here to play next to Tavares and to be the winger that he’s always needed.
He didn’t last at all. Actually, the projected Ladd – Tavares – Parenteau line didn’t play one single regular season game together. So, between the demotion off the top line and the lack of production Ladd was a scapegoat for the Islanders failures in 2016-2017.
This year he didn’t have nearly as much expectations or responsibilities. He would be playing somewhere on the Islanders middle six lines and that’s exactly where he has flourished.
The Ladd – Barzal – Eberle line has developed some great chemistry and has combined for 48 points so far this year.
While the play of Barzal, Eberle and the rest of the dynamic top line takes the headlines, Ladd is just chipping away on his way to a 40 point season. With Brock Nelson and Josh Ho-Sang on the third line the Islanders should (keyword should) have eight forwards with 40+ points. That would be an impressive feat.
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The Islanders explosive offense has gotten them off to a 13-7-2 start in the very competitive Metropolitan Division. If they can figure out this goals against problem they’ll be a very dangerous team come April and May.