What can the New York Islanders expect from their former number one defenseman going into the 2019-20 season? More offense.
In 2017-18 Leddy was his usual self offensively with 42 points. But he wasn’t his usual self defensively. As much as I don’t like plus-minus, Leddy’s -42 tells you a lot about his defensive game (and that of the Islanders as a whole).
In 2018-19 the script flipped. Leddy had a good defensive season but fell to his lowest points total since the 2012-13 lockout when he scored 18 points in 48 games.
So after two dichotomous seasons, what can we expect from Nick Leddy in the 2019-20 season?
It’s clear that Nick Leddy has been passed on the New York Islanders depth chart for left-handed defensemen. After last season there is no reason to split up Adam Pelech from Ryan Pulock. And with the emergence of Devon Toews, there’s no reason to drop him lower on the depth chart for Leddy.
That makes Leddy the third guy on the left-side for the Islanders. Much like he was near the end of last season.
As that third pair guy, he won’t see the same quality of opponents as he used to when he was the number one guy for the New York Islanders. The quality of competition will lower and as a result of that his opportunities to get the play going forward and generate some offense will increase.
Being that number one guy was something he clearly struggled with last season. But near the tail end of 2018-19 we saw the old Nick Leddy break out as he got used to his new third pair role under Barry Trotz system.
In a 14 game sample from February 28th to March 24th, Leddy scored seven points. You could also catch him take the puck up from the defensive zone, through the neutral zone ,and into the offensive zone. That’s the Nick Leddy we’re used to.
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I’m not going to say that’s the Nick Leddy we should expect. But I think it’s reasonable to expect 30-35 points from Nick Leddy in 2019-20. That’s not a return to his previous form under the New York Islanders. But considering his new place on the team that’s a fair return.