In the Islanders scrimmage today, Andrew Ladd got a shot with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey with Team White.
When it comes to the New York Islanders forward group, two lines are certain. We know the top line is going to be Lee – Barzal – Eberle and we know line four is going to be Martin – Cizikas -Clutterbuck.
Outside of that, the two middle lines are certainly in question. We know that Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier, JG Pageau, and Derick Brassard are going to make up five out of the six spots. There’s one spot up for grabs and the line combinations are still up in the air.
Today, Andrew Ladd got a shot working with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey. Assumably, that’s the second line as the third line (or line two for Blue) was Beauvillier – Pageau – Brassard.
On the surface, that’s really not a bad third line at all. It’s just Ladd on L2 that would likely be problematic if the Isles decided to roll with this in the playoffs.
In the last two years, Ladd has played a combined 30 games. He hasn’t been healthy and he hasn’t been productive for the Islanders. Yes, he had 23 goals in 2017 but in the three years since, he’s combined for 16 goals.
If Andrew Ladd somehow discovered a time machine and returned to 2013 form that’s completely a different story. Unfortunately, Ladd hasn’t eclipsed the 40 point mark since 2015-2016.
It’s tough to imagine him being productive enough to play in a top-six role. I completely understand that this is the time to try different things with the lineup, and it’s not meant as a criticism on Trotz.
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Trotz is doing his due diligence and seeing if Ladd would have any value to this team, if I’m betting I wouldn’t be confident in Ladd cracking the lineup. I’m still a believer that Beau plays with Nelson and Bailey and the third line becomes Kuhnhackl – Pageau – Brassard.