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Islanders: A deep look at left wing depth

bweinberger
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders skates during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 30, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
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Ross Johnston #32 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Ross Johnston

So far, I’ve had mostly positive things to say about these left-wingers. Unfortunately, that changes now. Ross Johnston is simply a bad hockey player – there’s no sugarcoating it.

Johnston is simply a goon. He’s bad at offense, bad at defense and great at taking penalties. In 86 NHL games, he has 15 points and 202 penalty minutes. His career CF% is 42.5%, which honestly isn’t as bad as I expected, but it’s still bad.

Maybe he’s better in the AHL? Well, in 141 AHL games, Johnston had 30 points and 327 penalty minutes. He hasn’t played for Bridgeport since 2018, but there’s no reason to expect his stats would improve.

Johnston is 27 years old and shows no signs of ever being anything more than a pale imitation of Matt Martin. He’s not as good, and there’s absolutely no reason he should play in the NHL next year.

(Yes, I skipped Leo Komarov. Even though I think of him as a winger, and he played on the left-wing for most of the playoffs, CapFriendly and HockeyReference list him as a center, so I’ll discuss him in my article on centers.)

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