In case I haven’t made it clear enough in my coverage of the Islanders this season, I am beyond thrilled that Anders Lee is playing at the pace that he has so far this year. In 25 games he has 18 points and 12 goals.
If you were to pace that out over a full 82 game season that’s 59 points and 39 goals. After just 48 goals over his past two seasons, there was a growing concern from some about Lee’s contract.
Going into this season, he had another six years left at his $7 million cap hit. Well, he’s made it fairly obvious that he’s worth every penny of that this season, especially with Barry Trotz’s high praise.
According to Pete Jensen, Anders Lee is the only player in the NHL with 10+ goals, 3+ shots per game, and 1.5 hits per game this season. Talk about effectiveness!
As a result, he has climbed the power rankings for forwards in fantasy sports, but more importantly for the Islanders, he’s found that goal-scoring touch that was lacking the last two years.
Last year, the signs of bad puck luck were there when it seemed like the Twitter mob wanted to point to a regression instead. Lee shot at just 7.1% on the man advantage last year according to Natural Stat Trick.
For reference, his lowest shooting percentage before that was in 2013-2014, when he shot at just 14.3%. There was no way he was going to have just two power play goals again this year (he already has three) but it seemed like so many were ready to write him off.
Anders Lee’s still an elite-level power forward in today’s NHL. I don’t know of too many players who get to the front of the net and cause the chaos that he does.
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I’ll gladly sign up for a year, maybe two of “poor value” on the Lee contract if I’m getting this version of Lee for five or six of the years of his deal. He’s worth the price.