Islanders: Anders Lee Considered Best Net-Front Presence In NHL

Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

On a conference call both Mathew Barzal and Patrick Kane agreed that New York Islanders captain, Anders Lee is the best net-front presence in the NHL.

The NHL has done a pretty good job of getting players on conference calls in order to keep some form of normalcy during these difficult times. Today, New York Islanders star, Mathew Barzal was on one with his boyhood idol, Patrick Kane.

Early in his career, Barzal made it very clear that he grew up idolizing Patrick Kane and what he was able to do for the game. Now, just three years later he is considered one of the league’s best, just like his now equal.

On the call, Mathew Barzal was asked who he thought the best tipper of pucks or goalie screeners are in this league. Mathew Barzal, and Patrick Kane for that matter, both agreed that it was Anders Lee.

Lee has just 20 goals on the season, which is a step back from his 28 last year and 40 the year prior. Anders is someone who you can expect at the front of the net during almost any situation and for good reason.

He’s six-foot-three 231 pounds and someone who doesn’t take lightly to defenders trying to move him out of the way. Yes, in 2019-2020 his shooting percentage is down to 10.3 percent from 13.7 last season but that doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story.

Brady Tkachuk is a name that gets dropped a ton when talking about net-front guys and he only has one more goal than Lee in three more games played. His shooting percentage is also a pedestrian eight percent.

Some might even say James van Riemsdyk is the proper answer. He has one less goal for Philly this year and scored 27 last season for the Flyers, which isn’t as effective as what Lee did even on a down year.

Is it fair to say that Anders Lee has had a down year, yes absolutely. But I don’t think he’s going to fall off a cliff Milan Lucic style. He’s playing with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, which isn’t an ideal fit for him as they use speed and Lee struggles to keep up.

Put him with Josh Bailey and you’ll see what both Mathew Barzal and Patrick Kane see. I mean come on, does it get much prettier than this?