Islanders Sign Andrew Ladd
Fantasy Impact: New York Islanders sign winger Andrew Ladd to a monster seven-year deal worth $38.5 million
The Islanders get: One of the most coveted free agent wingers in the FA pool this year.
Andrew Ladd and New York Islanders come terms on a 7 year/ $38.5 M deal. #NYI
— Aaron Ward (@NHL_AaronWard) July 1, 2016
Fantasy Players Impacted: In this morning’s Ramblings, I delved a bit into the problems with Ladd’s scoring last year, mainly his assist total. The assumption that I’m making here is that he will go right to the top line with John Tavares. Remember that while Okposo was usually a mainstay on the top line right wing when healthy, the left wing had been pretty much a revolving door, particularly in 2015-2016. Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, even Nikolai Kulemin were given some sort of extended look on Tavares’s left side over the last two years. This seems to pin that revolving door shut.
Now that Tavares has a regular linemate, there will be an opportunity for a lengthy amount of time to develop some chemistry. Despite the assist totals last year, Ladd has been a fairly solid distributor the few years prior, ranking inside the top-50 in the NHL in first assists per minute at five-on-five. Ladd should not only help Tavares stay around the 35-goal mark, but also boost Tavares well over 40 assists again, as Ladd is regularly a 20-25-goal scorer. This looks to be a good pairing moving forward.
Assuming Ladd is locked into the top line, and Frans Nielsen is on his way out the door in free agency, there really isn’t a lot for top-end centres left (though Strome has the ability to be that guy, if he ever fully realizes his potential). That means guys not playing on the top line are going to take a hit. They could still rake in their fair share of power play points, but as far as even strength scoring goes, this won’t help them.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Andrew Ladd
– big gap –
2. John Tavares
3. Ryan Strome
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Anders Lee
2. Josh Bailey
(really any non-Ladd full- or part-time winger)
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