The New York Islanders sent Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey to the AHL in a conditioning stint and they both scored a goal in their first game.
We found out yesterday that both Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey were going to get their first action in the AHL yesterday in hopes to make a return to the New York Islanders soon. It makes sense for both guys to get their feet wet in the AHL before returning to the NHL.
Right now, it’s not like the Islanders are struggling without them, as they sit with a five-point lead in the Metropolitan Division. So, the two veterans would see their first action of 2019 and get off to a pretty hot start.
Andrew Ladd got the Sound Tigers on the board first with a deflection into the back of the net for his first goal, AHL or NHL, since October. It was a vintage Ladd play, putting his big body in front of the net for the deflection.
People forget that Ladd was actually off to an okay start with the Islanders. In 14 games, he had 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) a pace of 41 points and 18 goals. With Ladd’s struggles and injury history, you would take that kind of production.
Then, it was Thomas Hickey’s turn. In the third period, Hickey tied up the game at three with a nice shot from the blue line with 16:30 to go.
Hickey, who had a career high in points last year at 25, had a bit of a slow start offensively for the Islanders this year. He had just four points, all assists, in 32 games played. Despite the lack of production, he was averaging over 19 minutes a night for the first time in his career.
Hickey’s a fine second or third pairing guy and getting him back up to the NHL to play with Ryan Pulock sounds ideal. Ultimately, when Hickey and Ladd are ready to go it will likely be Michael Dal Colle back to the AHL, Luca Sbisa waived, and Adam Pelech to the scratch pad.
Ladd seems to make the most sense on the third line with Val Filppula and Leo Komarov, providing a veteran line that could pay dividends come playoff time. It appears that both Hickey and Ladd aren’t far off and should be making an appearance with the Isles rather soon.