New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech skating with his teammates at the optional morning skate at Northwell Health Ice Center on Thursday, an encouraging sign that he may soon be made available to return to the lineup. "He's getting closer, whatever that closer may be, said head coach Lane Lambert. "It's a big step for us."
NY Islanders D Adam Pelech back skating with the team; getting close
The Islanders play a lot of games in a short period of time before the next break but, ideally, would want to have Pelech participate in a full practice before considering activating the 2022 All-Star off of injured reserve and inserting him back in the lineup.
The return of Pelech would be a major boost to the Islanders' blue line, even though Sebastian Aho and Parker Wotherspoon have filled in admirably on the left side. "He eats up a lot of minutes, plays in important situations, and plays against the other team's situations," said Lambert of Pelech's importance to the team.
Pelech was injured with a suspected head injury on a questionable from the St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo in a 7-4 loss at UBS Arena on Dec. 6. Pelech did not make the trip with the team during their four-game Pacific coast road trip and had only recently started skating on his own. Skating with his teammates was the next step. “Yeah, he provided some energy even today, just [at] the morning skate with the guys,” said Brock Nelson. “It’s fun to see him out there.”
For the season, the 28-year-old defenseman has 3 goals and 8 assists in 27 games is a +12. Pelech is second on the team with an average TOI of 20:49, behind only Noah Dobson.