Scott Mayfield | D
12 points, 25-years-old
The New York Islanders defense was it’s worst quality last season. It’s not even debatable that the defense cost the Islanders a shot at the playoffs. With a top-eight offense in the league, they had the firepower to make some noise. They just couldn’t stop puck going into their own net.
Next season the Islanders defensive top four should look like Nick Leddy with Johnny Boychuk again followed by Ryan Pulock and Calvin de Haan in the second pairing. Bring up the rear is a trio of Adam Pelech, Devon Toews, and Thomas Hickey.
Scott Mayfield was a good player for the Islanders. But in a bottom pairing position, I prefer Adam Pelech over the 6’5″ Mayfield.
The Islanders also have to make room to accommodate Devon Toews who should make the opening day roster next season. And we haven’t even talked about the Islanders fifth-round pick last season, Sebastian Aho.
This is, of course, a world where no trades are made and players don’t leave in free agency. We know that in the real world the Islanders need to make a trade for a top-four defender. They’ll also likely lose one of, if not both, Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey in free agency.
Even though Mayfield has that fresh five-year deal, I cut him.