2017-18 Stats: 12G, 17A, 29P
Cap Hit: $5.5 million | 5 Years (NTC)
The New York Islanders are on the hook for another five years of Andrew Ladd at $5.5 million per season. That wouldn’t sound so bad if he was producing. But 29 points last season and 31 before that show a player that is very much in decline.
He wasn’t brought in to be the elite winger to play next to John Tavares. But he was certainly brought in to be an elite winger for Tavares. And that bombed spectacularly.
After two weeks playing on the top line with Tavares in Ladd’s inaugural Islanders season, he was bumped down to the second. Then the third. And then all the way down to the fourth. In his first of seven years with the Islanders, Andrew Ladd was playing fourth line minutes.
Things never got any better for Ladd and the Islanders.
Can things change for Ladd? Probably. But certainly not for the better. Ladd was a good possession player last season. He can still bring some production to the lineup. But there’s no way he plays his worth.
It’s hard to see Andrew Ladd becoming that player he was back for the Hurricanes, or the Blackhawks or even the Jets those years ago. The Andrew Ladd situation has little upside and a ton of downside for the team. Again, the Islanders committed themselves to pay Ladd $5.5 million for the next five seasons. Or until he turns 37-years-old.
But he’s still got a good shot and is an able player. He shouldn’t sit anywhere in the Islanders top six. But to play on the third or fourth line could work for the Islanders.