If Devon Toews didn’t get hurt last year he probably plays with the New York Islanders in 2017. Now, 2018-2019 will likely be his debut season.
In 2014 the New York Islanders selected Devon Toews in the fourth round. He was playing for Quinnipiac University at the time and was coming off a 17 point season. Luckily, the Islanders got a defenseman who was still developing.
He followed that up with 50 points over the next two years before joining the Sound Tigers for the 2016-2017 season. Toews had a very good year in the AHL two years ago. In 76 games he had 45 points (5 goals, 40 assists).
That’s a .59 points per game pace. He followed that up with 22 points in 30 games, a pace of .73 points per game. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury and didn’t get to make his debut but he was on track to.
This year, He will have a shot to make the Islanders roster heading into camp. Right now the Islanders have six locks on defense: Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Thomas Hickey, and Scott Mayfield.
They’re going to carry seven defensemen and Toews is the front-runner to land that spot. He heads into camp at 24-years old. He will fight Mayfield (26) and Pelech (24) for ice time this year.
We know what Pelech is at this point in his career. He’s signed for three more years at $1.6 million and he can give you about 15-20 points if he plays every night. He’s a decent third pairing guy. Toews, on the other hand, is a bit of an unknown.
His ceiling is much higher as some believe he can turn into a top-four defenseman. The only way to find out is to actually play him. He’s signed at $700,000 for the next two years as a “prove it” contract.
Toews should make the team and split time with Devon Toews. Also, with injuries (Johnny Boychuk is due to miss three-weeks somewhere during the season) Toews will probably play around 40 games this year.
If he does this is what his numbers should look like:
40 games, 3 goals 11 assists (14 points) 2 +/- and a 48.9 CF percentage
By the time 2019-2020 rolls around Toews will earn him himself a spot in the regular d-pairings with Johnny Boychuk on the second pair. The Isles may decide that he’s better off getting regular playing time in the A, but right now I just don’t see a better option for the seventh d-man role.