2015-16 Season: Nick Leddy followed up a career year in 2014-15 with another career year in 2015-16. The Islanders defenseman broke 40 points (5G, 35A) for the first time in his six years in the NHL, also setting a career high in assists.
After a slow start offensively Leddy really came on in the second half of the season, recording 28 of his 40 points – including all five goals – after the New Year. Leddy logs big minutes for the Islanders, his 1832:09 total TOI ranking first, while his 22:37 per game was second to Travis Hamonic.
Leddy’s power-play presence increased last season as well, as he spent most of the year on the top power-play unit and led Isles defensemen with 2:44 PP TOI per game. In the playoffs, Leddy added a goal and three assists in 11 games, including his most important assist of the season that came with under a minute to go in Game 6 against the Florida Panthers. Leddy rushed the puck up the ice, which ultimately led to John Tavares’ game-tying goal. (Leddy also owns the play before the play, coming up with an empty-net block to keep the Islanders within reach.)
Highlight Reel Moment: End-to-end rush and goal vs. Toronto (Mar. 9, 2016)
The Look Ahead: Leddy has thrived since joining the Islanders two years ago and is one-third of a very effective trio – along with Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk – on the Islanders’ back end. He’s the best skater on the team, rushing end-to-end giving the Islanders options through the neutral zone. Offensive zone entries are one of his more subtle strengths, but will be useful on the Islanders’ power play.
Leddy should continue to log solid minutes for the Islanders and has been durable as well as dependable. He’s missed just five games in his Islanders career, only sitting out the April 10 makeup game against the Philadelphia Flyers last season for rest rather than injury.
Keep in mind, Leddy is only 25 and is entering the prime of his career. If he just replicated his past two seasons, 2016-17 would be a success, but at a relatively young age, Leddy still has room to grow.