Islanders team of the decade: Best players by position

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates his powerplay goal at 10:34 of the first period against the Dallas Stars and is joined by John Tavares #91 (r) at the Barclays Center on January 3, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates his powerplay goal at 10:34 of the first period against the Dallas Stars and is joined by John Tavares #91 (r) at the Barclays Center on January 3, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MARCH 14: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders attempts to wrap the puck around Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on March 14, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Canadiens 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Left-Wing: Anders Lee

2010-2019 Islanders Stats: 161G, 115A, 276Pts, 455GP

The competition for the best left-wing over the last ten years isn’t even close. With 161 goals and 276 points, Anders Lee is 79 points ahead of the next player; Matt Moulson.

Anders Lee has been incredibly successful since making his NHL debut for the Islanders back on April 2, 2013. We should have known what Lee was going to become when he scored 16 minutes into the game.

Since making his full NHL debut in 2014-15 (when he played a full NHL season), he’s become one of the best goal scorers in the NHL. With 142 goals he ranks 17th in the NHL leading up to the 2019-20 season.

That’s more than Max Pacioretty, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, or Wayne Simmonds.

His 161 goals for the Islanders puts him at the summit for left-wingers. Second on the list is Matt Moulson with 103 goals. Lee’s 276 points are also first on the list with Matt Moulson yet again second on the list with 197 points over the decade.

But the thing with Lee isn’t just the 40 goal season, it’s not just his ability to create goals three feet from the goalie better than anyone in the league. It’s his work ethic, his sacrifice, and his leadership.

Few players work as hard on and off the puck as Anders Lee. Game after game, Lee sets up three feet from the goal where he’s constantly the target for cross-checks, punches, and hacks from his opponents.

Since the departure of John Tavares, Lee has taken over as the team captain. How many times have you seen John Tavares step in when a teammate gets abused like this? Never. The answer is never.

It’s for all those reasons that Anders Lee takes top honors for LW of the decade.

Honorable Mention: Matt Moulson

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