- Tyler Adelle
Isles Hot Seat: Player Report Card: Adam Pelech
It’s safe to say things could have been different for the Islanders this season had they not lost one of their top defensemen in January. Pelech tore his Achilles in a freak pre-game soccer accident and was then ruled out for the remainder of the season, with little to no hope of a playoff return in his future. Fortunately, Pelech is one of the very few who benefited from the paused NHL season, as was healthy and good to go for the qualifying round of the playoffs. Up until his injury, Pelech was a solid defender, notching 9 points through 38 games, while also being a +4 on the ice.
One of his biggest flaws most would agree, is the fact that he cannot stay out of the box. Though he only took 28 minutes in penalties combined through the regular season and playoffs, it always seemed as if he was always in the box (or at least in the box during a crucial point of a game). If there would be anything for the 26-year-old defenseman to build this offseason, it would have to be self-discipline on the ice. The Islanders are clearly in a win-now mindset, and it will be very hard to do that when one of your top defenders is taking penalties in crucial situations. Pelech's grade for this season is mainly based on the fact he missed over half of the season, but I believe all Islanders fans should expect big things from Pelech next season.