26-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Islanders
Nick Leddy Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $38.5 million contract extension with the Islanders in February of 2015.
Leddy had a an assist in the Islanders' 3-1 win over Buffalo on Friday.
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Nick Leddy: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Fresh off a massive seven-year deal with the Islanders heading into last season, Leddy had plenty of bigwigs counting on him for production. The 2015 portion of the 2015-16 season couldn't have gone much worse, though, as the defenseman only contributed 12 points -- and no goals -- while averaging more than 20 minutes a game. However, once the calendar flipped to 2016, the Islanders were rewarded for their patience, as the 2013 Stanley Cup champion put up 28 points in 43 games and looked more like the player they thought they were signing. The Islanders are likely to be expecting their power-play quarterback to build upon last season and find more consistency this year. Leddy has never been seen as much of a shooter, nor are his shooting percentages indicative of any potential rise in goal scoring, but he's a legitimate playmaker who's cemented in the top four of an Isles defensive corps short on offensive firepower.
From a third-pairing piece on a Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks team to a top-line defenseman on Long Island, in the span of just 12 months, Leddy has become an invaluable member of a burgeoning Islanders core. Playing in 78 games, Leddy had the best offensive season of his young career, scoring 10 goals and 27 assists. He also contributed on the power play, scoring a goal and 11 assists with the man advantage. One of the best skaters on the blue line in the league, the 24-year-old Leddy is now rounding into form as one of the better defensemen around. With an improved scoring touch and plenty of ice time -- he logged more than 20 minutes per game last season, a figure that should increase -- Leddy's reputation is growing, and he could emerge as a 45- or 50-point player within a few years.
Leddy has strong puck-moving skills and at 23 years old, still has youth on his side. But his offensive numbers seem to have flat-lined (seven goals and 24 assists) even though the team gave him more of a green light to shoot. He continues to run hot-and-cold with his coaches, but we're hoping that each passing year brings a little more maturity to his game. We're hoping for 35-plus points this season.
Leddy is an enigma wrapped up in a riddle. By the end of the playoffs, he barely saw the ice (and we really mean barely). But then the team inked him to a two-year contract extension after the season. What gives? They must like him for the future, so maybe the reduced ice time was just a response to his developmental needs. It's hard to anticipate his production in 2013-14; for now, it's a wait and see.
Depending on who you ask, Leddy has been a disappointment or a success in his first two NHL seasons. But many forget that he only turned 21 last March and he still pulled off a three-goal, 34-assist season. Those 34 assists ranked him in the top 15 NHL defensemen. Expect him to continue to grow his game both offensively and defensively, and add another five or six points to last year's total.
Leddy, an up-and-coming defenseman for the Blackhawks, just turned 20 years old last March. He benefited from the Blackhawks’ salary cap problems as he saw time on the NHL team in 2010-11, when he was originally expected to be a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. He skated in 46 games for the Blackhawks and registered four goals and three assists. With a year under his belt, the team is expecting him to be on the ice from the first game, seeing ice time as a defenseman on the power play.
The Blackhawks apparently have much love for this kid. Why else would they give up Cam Barker only to ink Leddy to a three-year deal this past offseason after he had put in just one year with Minnesota at the collegiate level? A late offseason injury to defenseman Brian Campbell could open the door wide open for the quick-skating Leddy to crack the big-league roster and make an immediate impact with the defending Champs in 2010-11.
Leddy has amazing skating ability and his potential is sky high. He's committed to the University of Minnesota, so he could go that route this season. He could be a huge-scoring defenseman once he hits his prime in the NHL, though that's probably a few years away.