Editorials

Islanders: Five key players that need to step up vs Florida Panthers

By Matt Hawkins
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Defenseman. New York Islanders. Nick Leddy. 5. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 106

Now 29 years old, defenseman Nick Leddy is in his sixth season with the Isles. He started off his time with the Isles quite well, scoring at least 35 points in his first three seasons — including 46 points and 11 goals in 2016-17.

However, since then, he just hasn’t been the same defenseman he once was. Yes, in 2017-18 he nearly replicated his offensive production from the year before with 10 goals and 42 points — but he was the Isles’ worst defenseman when it came to defense, sporting a horrific -42 +/-.

Since Barry Trotz has taken over as bench boss, Leddy has been much better defensively. However, he hasn’t been able to produce offensively like he once was. Since Trotz has taken over, Leddy hasn’t eclipsed 30 points and five goals in a season.

If the Isles wish to beat the Panthers in a five-game series, Leddy will have to play good defense to lighten the load of his 36-year-old defensive partner, Johnny Boychuk, while also being able to produce and drive offensively.

Leddy’s great, his smooth-skating is a great asset to the team and should be used more often when it comes to offense. He should be used more often in zone entries, whether even strength or on the powerplay.

The Isles will be looking for Leddy to step up and be his 2016-17 self. After all, he is third on the team among defensemen in average time-on-ice at 21:07, behind only Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech.

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