Who? No, don’t worry the New York Islanders aren’t signing Paul LaDue to a contract to play in the NHL but they are bringing him into the organization. Brad Elliott Schlossman, who covers college hockey, reported today that in addition to Zach Parise, the Islanders are signing LaDue as well.
Paul LaDue was a sixth-round pick for the Kings back in 2012 and ended up playing 69 games over four seasons with the club. The most amount of action he saw was in 2018-2019 when he produced five points (2 goals, 3 assists) averaging 12:13 per night.
LaDue, who is a six-foot-two 200 pound right-hand shot defenseman, has found some success later in his career in the AHL. During the 2019-2020 season, he played 48 games for the Ontario Reign putting up 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists).
Most recently, he played for the Hershey Bears in 2020-2021 and had eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 18 games played. Last year, according to CapFriendly, he was on a one-year, one-way deal at $700,000 signed by the Capitals.
The Islanders are projected to have seven defensemen already in the AHL with Thomas Hickey, Robin Salo, Samuel Bolduc, Bode Wilde, Mitch Vande Sompel, Parker Wotherspoon, and Grant Hutton.
So where does LaDue come into play? Well, our very own Mitch Anderson speculated him going to Worcester, the Islanders ECHL affiliate. The only four defensemen currently listed are Nick Albano, John Furgele, Myles McGurtey, and Karl Boudrias.
Perhaps the vet, LaDue goes to the ECHl to add some veteran depth there? Although, three of the four players I just listed off play on the right side.
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The moral of the story, this deal isn’t going to impact the Islanders as it’s strictly organizational depth likely in the AHL or ECHL. The search for a LHD lives on, for now.