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Get to Know an Islander: Nick Leddy

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Islanders, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Islanders and how they might impact the series.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Leddy

#2 / Defenseman / New York Islanders

6-0 |  194 |  March 20, 1991

Eden Prairie, MN |  16th, 2009 (Wild)

Assets Is a tremendous skater with outstanding mobility and acceleration. Can lead the rush and set up teammates with great vision and passing skills. Is willing to initiate contact and take a hit to make plays in the defensive zone.
Flaws Isn't overly big and will need to continue adding bulk to his 5-11 frame in order to better handle big forwards at the National Hockey League level. Also needs to improve his shooting accuracy (and frequency).
Career Potential Mobile offensive defenseman with upside.
(Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career Rolling Corsi-For Percentage:

HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Leddy HERO

2015 Islanders Player Usage:

Leddy Usage

Why you should know who he is: Back in February 2014, The New York Islanders handed Nick Leddy a 7-year contract extension, worth $38.5m. That's the kind of dough you shell out to a player you envision as being a central figure in a rebuilt future. Leddy was selected 16th overall by the Minnesota Wild — just 15 picks after his now teammate, John Tavares, and 8 picks before a guy he'll probably see a lot of in the coming weeks: Marcus Johansson. Leddy has been a strong possession player for his entire career to date, only falling below a a gaudy 53% once — his rookie season. Granted, he's been on some great possession teams, including the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. Leddy leads all Islander blueliners in even strength points, largely by virtue of sharing a lot of ice with the Isles prolific top line, and in some circles he's considered a Norris candidate.

How the Caps can stop him: Leddy played exceedingly well against the Capitals during four meetings in the regular season, with the only Caps forwards who saw a positive shot-attempt differential with Leddy on the ice were Jay Beagle (+3) and Andre Burakovsky (+5)... neither of which is guaranteed to be lacing his skates up during the NHL's Second Season. Leddy's skillset is maximized in the offensive zone, and his deployment shows this, as he sees the Isles' blueliners 2nd highest percentage of offensive zone draws versus defensive zone draws. The Caps can minimize Leddy's effectiveness by winning draws when he's on the ice, and especially in the defensive zone. They fared well in this regard during the regular season. And their two most successful draw-takers for Leddy and the Isles in the regular season? You guessed it: Jay Beagle and Andre Burakovsky