The New York Islanders just lost a top-pairing defenseman for the season. Adam Pelech’s Achilles injury will keep him out for the year.
After a tough loss to the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders received some devastating news today as they have lost their top-pairing defenseman, Adam Pelech for the season. We didn’t have much news on Pelech before the game when it was announced he was scratched, but obviously this is worst-case scenario.
Pelech had nine points in 38 games, a pace of 19 points which is about right on par for Adam Pelech who is more of a stay-at-home defender. He is also second on the team for minutes behind is pairing partner Ryan Pulock.
His Corsi numbers aren’t great, just a 44.5 CF% but that doesn’t paint the entire picture. The Isles rely heavily on the Pelech – Pulock pair as it is without a doubt their number one pair after years of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk holding that role.
In the meantime, the Islanders will be forced to play Noah Dobson more. Dobson, who has just 12 games under his belt and two points to go along with it will factor into the lineup. Last night he was paired with Ryan Pulock but in the past, he’s been put with Johnny Boychuk and that seems like a good fit.
Ideally, the Isles probably go with Leddy – Pulock, Toews – Mayfield, Dobson – Boychuk. One thing’s for certain, Barry Trotz is going to have to play Dobson more than just the 13:42 he’s averaged so far.
I understand they are trying to ease Dobson into the NHL but you’re going to burn out your other defensemen if he’s only playing 10-13 minutes per night. Get him closer to that 17-minute mark and you’re in better shape.
Additionally, the Isles called up Sebastian Aho. Aho played in 22 games in 2017-2018 as a 21-year-old and was actually pretty solid. He had four points and averaged 16:15 of ice time per night.
He’s thrived in the AHL this year, where he has 20 points (2 goals, 18 assists) in 34 games. He also put up 46 last year in 67 games. He definitely deserves a chance and should be a fine seventh d-man.
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Replacing Pelech isn’t going to be easy, but they certainly have the youth to give it a go for now. Perhaps a veteran d-man will be in play at the deadline this year.