In a bigger role with the Islanders in 2021, we’re going to need to see more of Nick Leddy carrying the puck this year.
Once the Islanders traded Devon Toews it became abundantly clear that they are going to need to put Nick Leddy back in a top-four role. Now, that’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world, I don’t hate it.
Sure, in a perfect world you have both Leddy and Devon Toews on the team but the Isles couldn’t afford to pay Toews what he got from Colorado, so Leddy will be the one expected to do the lugging of the puck.
Some are concerned with Leddy being placed back into that role. I’m not one of those people. For four years with the Islanders, Leddy was that guy before Toews got here, and even at points last year he showed he could still do it.
Just watch this coast to coast goal against the Devils from 2018:
Sure, Leddy might not be 100 percent of what he once was but there’s no doubt in my mind that he still has this in his game, and hopefully with a bigger offensive role we get to see that on display more in 2021.
Here’s another example of what Leddy can be in a more offensive role. This time a little give and go action with Mathew Barzal
In his first four years with the Islanders, Leddy had over 12 points on the power play in each one of those years. Comparatively, in Devon Toews’ first 116 games in the league, he had just 10 power-play points.
So yes, technically the Islanders did lose their number one defenseman on the power play but I’d argue that Leddy at his best was better than Toews at his best. It’s just a matter of hoping that Leddy can be the player that he was earlier in his Islanders career.