Number 7: Adam Pelech (Defense) | Age: 24
New York Islanders Stats: 5 G, 16 A, 21 PTS
It was a 180-degree switch for Adam Pelech this year. He started the season on the top-pair, which didn’t last long at all. He was extremely overmatched, after about seven games his ice time began to get cut immediately.
He was receiving significantly less ice time from November through January. During that time Pelech was on the bottom-end of Islanders defenders. Things changed in February though.
Ice time began to increase again and by the end of the year, he was playing 20 plus minutes a night with Ryan Pulock. Now, the Pelech and Pulock pair seems like it will be a mainstay for the Islanders in years to come.
Ryan Pulock is the Islanders best defenseman so it’s safe to assume that the Pelech – Pulock pair will act as the Isles top-pair. At just $1.6 million for the next two years, the Isles have Pelech on a very team-friendly deal.