New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy isn’t playing very well, and as such could very well be moved in a trade next season.
Going into the 2019-20 season we thought that the New York Islanders could trade Nick Leddy in order to bring in a top-six winger for the club. That obviously didn’t happen. Early in the season, Barry Trotz even doubled down by stating that Nick Leddy shouldn’t be traded.
Those comments came after a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators where Leddy scored two goals and provided a helper on a Matt Martin goal.
It was a vintage night for Leddy who was carrying the puck from the defensive zone and into the offensive zone. He was getting the puck in play and towards the net and he was quarterbacking a power play that went 1-for-3 on the night.
But nights like those have been few and very far between for Leddy this season.
Not the Same
Leddy’s production just isn’t there this season. His 20 points in 57 should make that obvious enough. That puts him on pace for 26 points. Equaling his return from last season.
Much of that production came in the first third of the season. He scored 14 points through the first 26 games of the season. Leaving him with six points over the remaining 31 games.
More importantly, though, Leddy’s play away from the puck has been just as lacking. In his own end, Nick Leddy has become a liability for the New York Islanders. He just hasn’t been able to figure out what he needs to do or where he needs to be in the Barry Trotz system.
Too often Leddy is caught out of position or making the wrong play in the defensive zone. And for a team that spends much of the game in the defensive zone, that’s an obvious problem.
It’s not that Nick Leddy is a bad player. He’s still one of the better skaters in the league. He’s great at moving the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone. But he isn’t necessarily great at retrieving those pucks to start that transition.
He isn’t being used on the power play either. Over the Islanders last four games he’s logged a combined 53 seconds of power play time.
On a team where his skills could be better used, Nick Leddy could likely return to that 40-50 point bluelines.
Clearly, the Islanders won’t be moving him this season, but in 2020-21 when the Isles need to make some room to sign their pending RFA’s Nick Leddy’s $5.5 million cap hit would go a long way to make enough space.
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With Sebastian Aho doing well in the AHL, the Islanders have a left-shot defenseman who’s playing well in a similar system and could step in next season as the Isles sixth blueliner. Or they could play Thomas Hickey who still has two more years on a four-year deal he signed in 2018.
Either way, the Islanders have internal options if they decide to move Nick Leddy leading up to 2020-21.