Scott Mayfield proves more harmful than helpful to NY Islanders lineup in 2023-24

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Scott Mayfield came into the 2023-24 season with a cushy new 7-year, $3.5 million AAV contract after having a career year in 2022-23. Unfortunately, the defenseman didn't live up to the hype surrounding his new contract and fans looked to Lou Lamoriello to answer for reasoning. At 31 years old, Mayfield only played 41 games during the regular season and did not participate in the postseason due to a fractured foot. While on the ice, the consensus seemed to be that Mayfield did more harm than good with fans urging the organization to find a replacement.

*Read our previously Published player report cards: Sebastian Aho | Mat Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck | Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom | Bo Horvat | Anders Lee | Kyle MacLean | Matt Martin

NY Islanders 2023-24 player report card: Scott Mayfield

Standing at 6'5, 220lbs Mayfield has been known to be the Islanders grittiest defenseman. "Vintage Scott Mayfield" has been coined for his ability to pin his opponents into the boards in a physical puck battle when the clock needs to be burned. He's also previously been a great asset for the Isles on the penalty kill and isn't afraid to jump up into the play, often scoring Hail Mary goals from the slot. However, that was all before this season. The 2023-24 season saw the fall from grace for the defenseman, losing not only the love he once received from fans but the skill he once possessed due to an injury he sustained in game 1 of the season. Mayfield fractured his left ankle while blocking a Rasmus Dahlin shot in the season opener, and instead of taking the season off to recuperate, Mayfield played through the injury.

While this decision was for the betterment of the team, it ultimately hurt more than it helped. The Islanders struggled as a whole defensively this season, and Mayfield not playing at 100% was a major component in these struggles. He hesitated to block shots in a way that was detrimental to the Isles, he wasn't winning battles the way he used to, and the penalty kill was shaky all season, but when Mayfield is more focused on not tweaking his ankle than using it to block a shot, that hurts the team as a whole.

Mayfield's biggest issue this season was surprisingly not his ankle, but his lack of discipline, specifically late in games, that often cost the Isles must and should win games. The biggest example came in the Stadium Series, where Mayfield took a stupid penalty with 10 minutes remaining, and the Rangers' lethal power play helped mount a comeback from a 5-3 deficit. Mayfield finished the season with 35 PIM in 41 games, and while he is known for taking frequent penalties, this season showed a clear lack of discipline in his playing style. With Mayfield being such a large part of the penalty kill, and the PK overall struggling, these penalties hurt the Isles more than in previous seasons. Mayfield was also very sloppy with the puck in ways he normally isn't. While it may have been the injury, or just a lack of puck control, the defenseman had 35 giveaways, 29 in the defensive zone, and generally had to rely on his defensive partners to bail him out due to his lack of skating abilities with the injury. Fans let out a sigh of relief when Lamoriello finally decided to bench Mayfield on February 24th to undergo season-ending surgery on his ankle.

With a career low in points (5A in 41 games), an unsuccessful stint playing with an injury, and his overall lack of discipline during crucial moments, Mayfield receives a D for the 2023-24 season. With 6 more years of Scott Mayfield, fans are hopeful his play can turn around next season. Not much of Mayfield has been seen under Patrick Roy which brings some hope that he will improve under the new coaching system.

Final Grade: D