For 2018-19 the New York Islanders have three right-handed shooting defensemen. There’s a changing of the guard in terms of who ranks at the top.
Unlike the left side of the blueline, the New York Islanders aren’t stacked on the right. They have fewer options to consider then the more popular left side of the blueline.
It makes sense, there are fewer right-handed shots across the entire NHL. Just browsing Cap Friendly you can see that there are 957 active left-handed players in the NHL. Righties count for 507. That’s 35 percent of the NHL population being right-handed. Just over a third.
For defensemen, it’s slightly higher at 40 percent. Getting three capable right-handed shot defensemen isn’t easy. The New York Islanders have their three, but that’s about it.
Neither is ready for a shot in the NHL today. Neither will feature for the New York Islanders in 2018-19. So I’m going to skip them entirely.
What I’m interested in knowing, and what this depth chart will show, is how important to the team the Isles right-handed defensemen are. Spending time talking about how important a player that will only ever see AHL time isn’t the point.
Between Ryan Pulock, Johnny Boychuk, and Scott Mayfield, who is the most important to the team going into the 2018-19 NHL season? Who should sit on the top pair with Nick Leddy, and who will have the greatest impact?