2017-18: 3G, 16A, 19P
Cap Hit: $1.6 million | 3 Years
We still don’t exactly know what Adam Pelech is. In his rookie year two years ago he filled in on the top pair alongside Nick Leddy and looked fairly comfortable. But since he’s slotted into a second-to-third pairing guy for the Islanders.
He isn’t flashy. With 19 points to his name last season, he doesn’t put them in the net like say Ryan Pulock does. But you don’t always need a defender to do that. Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the Sharks scores about 30 points in a year and he’s widely regarded as the best positional defender in the league.
It’s not to say Pelech is just as good as Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The idea is to show points don’t always matter when it comes to evaluating whether a defenseman is good at his position or not.
Adam Pelech could easily find himself in the Islanders top-four if Thomas Hickey has a tough start to the season. But for now he, Scott Mayfield and whatever defenseman is undoubtedly going to join the team as their seventh blueliner will rotate on the third pair.
That should perfectly suit Adam Pelech. Putting him on the first pair with Nick Leddy two years ago was out of absolute necessity. He looked comfortable, but a first pairing defensemen Adam Pelech is not.
Being able to operate against lower quality opposition should suit Pelech well. He picked up 19 points last season, he should be able to easily reproduce that level of production this season. Even with the lessened firepower up front with Tavares gone.