It was an up and down season for Adam Pelech. See how the New York Islanders d-man graded out on his inconsistent season.
At the start of the season, Adam Pelech was in way over his head with the New York Islanders. Barry Trotz had Pelech playing top-pair minutes with Ryan Pulock. In the first three games of the year, Pelech was over 19 minutes in all three of the games.
By about the 10th game, Pelech’s ice time began to take a significant hit. There were a few times, even in December, where his ice time dropped below 13 minutes a night. Before Devon Toews got the call up due to injuries, people were calling for the callup to spell the ineffective Pelech.
But then, something happened. Once the calendar flipped to 2019, Pelech began to figure out this defensive system. He and Ryan Pulock easily became the Islanders best defensive pairing which led to getting upwards of 20 minutes a night by years end.
Pelech finished the season with an average ice time of 18:38. That might not seem like a lot but when you consider how much his role was diminished in November and December it becomes even more impressive.
Production wise, he was fairly competent too putting up 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in 78 games. Pelech doesn’t seem like a d-man who will rack up 30 or more points a season but sitting between 20-25 in a good year seems like a fair expectation.
He’s just 24 years old and seemed to develop into a reliable option in the Islanders top-four. He might not be your prototypical top-pairing guy but when you put him with Ryan Pulock it just seems to work somehow.
Pelech has two more years at a very reasonable $1.6 million cap hit. Paying guys like Pelech and Scott Mayfield such a low number is what makes other cap hits like Andrew Ladd and Cal Clutterbuck a little more bearable.
When you consider what he gave the Islanders, and for how much he costs, Adam Pelech is a fairly important Islander.
Pelech, all things considered, was inconsistent over the course of a full season. His inconsistency is ultimately what hurts his grade here. A B- seems like a fair grade to me, all things considered.
Next year, the expectation is for him to play like second half Adam Pelech for the full year. If he does that then you’ll see the B- grade get even better when we’re doing this in a year from now.