Islanders options to replace Nick Leddy: Trade, free agency, internal

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The New York Islanders traded Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings the other day, and his absence leaves a big gap that needs to be filled.

Trading Nick Leddy allowed the New York Islanders to clear a ton of cap space ($12 million if you include the Andrew Ladd deal). But the trade leaves the Islanders with a big gap on the blue line for the 2021-22 NHL season.

Leddy was an integral part of the Islanders top four and was the primary defensive puck-mover for them. In the absence of Devon Toews in 20-21, Leddy carried much of the workload on the power play (for defensemen) with 124:15 PP minutes. The next closest was Ryan Pulock at 107:28.

Not having him leaves a big gap on the Isles blue line. A gap they have to fill for the 21-22 season. They’ll have three avenues to find that replacement for Leddy:

  1. The trade market
  2. Free agency
  3. Internally

Let’s look at some of the possible options over all three avenues to see if there’s anyone that could fill Leddy’s spot.

So, just to be clear here’s what the Islanders should be looking for in a replacement:

  • Good transition game*
  • Can play the power play**
  • Scores points (or at least has a considerable impact offensively)

*I’m using Corey Sznajder’s data to establish transition game (ie: Carry-in rates).
*Using NaturalStatTrick’s Total Points/60 on the power play.

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