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Islanders All Time Lists

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 – SEPTEMBER 16: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Defenseman 1: Nick Leddy

2010-2019 Islanders Stats: 42G, 160A, 202Pts, 425GP

From the 2007-08 season through the 2013-14 season the New York Islanders made the playoffs once. That one appearance came in 2012-13 where the Islanders lost to the Penguins in six games. The Islanders had a number of good offensive players then, but their blueline was in shambles.

So after missing out on the playoffs again in 2013-14, GM Garth Snow brought in Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk days before the start of the 2014-15 regular season.

Leddy had come to the Islanders from the Chicago Blackhawks where he was playing behind defensemen like Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Johnny Oduya. Averaging  16:22 of ice-time with the Hawks, Leddy still put up 37 points in his final season there.

Garth Snow figured Leddy could be something more, he figured Leddy could be that number one guy for the Islanders. And he was right. Leddy was the puck-moving defenseman every NHL team now absolutely has to have to be relevant.

Along with Johnny Boychuk who was acquired hours later, the Islanders blueline was instantly changed. With the two, the Islanders put up their first 100 point year over an 82 games season ever.

Leddy took a dip in form through the 2017-18 and 2018-19 season, but now in 2019-20, he seems to have bounced back.

Over this decade, Leddy is the highest-scoring blueliner to play for the Islanders. His 202 points rank first. Travis Hamonic is second with 146.

I know that points aren’t always the best measure of success for a defenseman, but Nick Leddy was brought in to provide offense from the blueline. He was brought in to give the Islanders that crucial modern defensive element, and he’s done exactly that.

Honorable Mention: Mark Streit

When we think of offensive defensemen from this past decade it’s hard not to think of Mark Streit. With 102 points in 170 games this decade, Streit is one of the best.

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