Why There’s Competition?
As I said, I’m assuming that the Islanders will lose Nick Leddy in the Seattle expansion draft. You might have a different player in mind (maybe Jordan Eberle). But I’m thinking Leddy’s 40 point potential from the blueline, impact on the power play, and tradeable contract at the deadline (should things not go well for Seattle), make Leddy the perfect candidate to select.
Instead, I think the open spot is Andy Greene’s. I don’t believe the Islanders bring the 38-year-old back. Which opens a spot at training camp.
Here’s how I think the defense stacks up:
So who are the hopefuls for that open spot on the third pair?
Who’s in the Running?
- Samuel Bolduc
- Robin Salo
- Sebastian Aho
- Thomas Hickey
There are three prospects on the list here. Which could already sway the Islanders decision. They might not want a still young Noah Dobson and a prospect on the same d-core. Meaning, Lou and Barry might just opt to get Thomas Hickey (who still has a year left on his deal) some skating time.
But, Hickey has been surpassed by a few rookies already. Devon Toews and Noah Dobson have all earned spots over Hickey recently, it’s possible a third one takes a roster spot over the veteran.
While Salo is older and has more pro experience than Samuel Bolduc, I think it’s quite likely the Isles give Bolduc a spot out of camp after his first impressive (albeit short) pro season over the Finnish defender, even if Salo is a more offensive-minded player that could carry the puck forward better than Bolduc.