Islanders: Nick Leddy Expectations For 2021 Season
By Matt O'Leary
After the Devon Toews trade, Nick Leddy is going to have a different looking role with the Islanders. Here’s what to expect from him.
It’s been a weird last few years for Nick Leddy. During his first three and a half years with the Islanders, he was the top-pair guy the Isles relied so heavily on who put up great numbers offensively.
Since the middle of 2017-2018, he’s been off. In Leddy’s first year under Barry Trotz, he put up just 26 points in 82 games and then he followed it up with 21 in 60 last year. The offense went way down as his role changed.
Under Trotz, the Leddy – Boychuk pair essentially became pair number three. Pelech – Pulock emerged as the top-pair while Toews – Mayfield was solid on the second pair.
With Devon Toews traded away, Leddy is expected to jump back into a top-four role. At age 29 can we expect Leddy to refind his game with the Isles?
I fully expect Nick Leddy to bump up to the second-pair with Scott Mayfield. While this is going to be new for Leddy, who has spent nearly the entirety of his Islanders career paired with Johnny Boychuk, it should be an easy transition.
Mayfield like Boychuk is a big right-hander who is more of a stay-at-home guy which is good for Leddy who works best when he can focus on using his speed to carry the puck out and getting in the mix offensively.
Last year, Leddy’s power-play time was virtually nonexistent. He played just 70:43 on the man advantage after putting up at least 191 minutes of power-play time a season with the Islanders. That’s something that I also expect to change in 2021.
He will have to take over as the power-play guy, which he’s been able to do in the past, but will he be able to be on par with Devon Toews? That’s definitely the biggest question mark for Leddy heading into the season.
On the season, I’ll say he puts up 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists) in the 56 game season. Over a full year that’s paced out to 34 points (9 goals, 25 assists). It’s not quite the Nick Leddy of old but it is definitely a step forward for him.
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I don’t know if Leddy will ever be the $5.5 million a year player he was earlier in his career, but to expect him to be a steady second pair guy seems reasonable. Barry Trotz raves about Nick Leddy, so if he’s confident in him, I trust that he can fill the role the Isles ask of him.