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Scouting The Enemy: New York Islanders, Defensemen Edition

Florida's opening round opponent is the New York Islanders. Today, we'll take an in-depth look at their blueline corps.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida's fifth-ever Stanley Cup Playoff appearance (and just second this millenium) starts against the New York Islanders on Thursday night. The Islanders, although they've been to the playoffs in three of the last four season, haven't won a playoff series since 1993. This is the second part of a three part series where we take an in-depth look at the team that we are favored to beat in five or six games. Here's yesterday's article, on the forwards. Check back tomorrow for a look at their netminders.

First Pairing

Nick Leddy

Leddy is a 6', 199 lb. left-handed defender from Eden Praire, Minnesota. He was initially selected by his hometeam, the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, 16th overall. He made his way to the Islanders via Chicago in the beginning of the 2014-15 season, and signed a seven-year contract extension with the Islanders last February.

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 6-0 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: Quality, mobile defenseman with a little upside.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

417

35

135

170

+19

73

Season

81

5

35

40

-9

25

Last 10

10

0

4

4

+3

0

vs. Florida

12

1

3

4

0

0

Johnny Boychuk

Boychuk is a 6'2", 227 lb. right handed defenseman from Edmonton, Alberta. The 32-year-old was a second round selection of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft with the 61st overall choice.

Assets: Owns a heavy point shot (an asset on the power play) and has good instincts that endear him to his coaches. Is a quality teammate. Loves to initiate contact.
Flaws: Is somewhat limited in terms of his skating, so he can struggle at times if he receives too many top-four rearguard minutes. Is an inconsistent point producer.
Career Potential: Big, quality defenseman.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

463

37

98

135

+121

243

Season

70

9

16

25

+17

31

Last 10

10

2

1

3

+3

4

vs. Florida

24

0

1

1

+15

7

Second Pairing

Calvin de Haan

de Haan is a 6'1", 197 lb. blueliner from Carp, Ontario. Now 24-years-old, he was a first round choice of the Islanders in the NHL Entry Draft of 2009, with the 12th overall selection.

Assets: Plays a safe, reliable game in his own end. Skates extremely well and owns good puck-moving skills. His type of low-maintenance game can register huge amounts of ice time.
Flaws: Lacks the physical ability to dominate from the defense position, which can make him less than ideal in shutdown situations. Needs to become stronger in order to maximize NHL output.
Career Potential: Quality puck-moving defenseman.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

189

6

38

44

0

74

Season

72

2

14

16

+3

20

Last 10

10

0

5

5

+1

2

vs. Florida

9

0

2

2

-6

6

Travis Hamonic

Hamonic is a 6'2" right-handed defenseman from St. Malo, Manitoba. The 25-year-old former second rounder was picked by the Islanders with the 53rd overall selection in 2008.

Assets: Has both offensive ability and physical toughness. Also owns a big point shot. Is capable of logging big (and important) minutes. Can be used in a shutdown role.
Flaws: Will at times take bad penalties, so he could stand to become a bit more disciplined. Must also work on improving his shot accuracy and overall decision-making process.
Career Potential: Excellent shutdown defenseman.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

395

23

109

132

+14

392

Season

72

5

16

21

-5

35

Last 10

10

0

3

3

-5

0

vs. Florida

15

1

4

5

-5

32

Third Pairing

Thomas Hickey

Hickey is a 6', 189 lb. left-handed defender from Calgary, Alberta. The 27-year-old was initially selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He signed with the Islanders as a free agent during the 2013 offseason.

Assets: Is great at moving the puck quickly up ice and fairly sound in his own end. Is also extremely mobile. Doesn't make a lot of mistakes in his own end.
Flaws: Lacks ideal size for the blueline position at the National Hockey League level. Doesn't play a physical brand of hockey. Is somewhat injury-prone.
Career Potential: Solid puck-moving defenseman.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

264

13

52

65

+11

98

Season

62

6

11

17

+9

30

Last 10

10

2

1

3

+1

8

vs. Florida

11

0

2

2

+8

2

Ryan Pulock

Pulock, a 21-year-old rookie from Dauphin, Manitoba, was a first round choice of the Islanders in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft with the 15th overall selection. He's a 6'1", 189 lb. right-handed shooter.

Assets: Owns a heavy point shot and plenty of shooting ability, which makes him a very effective power-play performer. Also has good size and a rather simple approach to playing defense.
Flaws: Doesn't have great skating ability, so his offensive game may not transition perfectly well at the highest level. Also, he could stand to become a greater physical presence.
Career Potential: Quality offensive defenseman with upside.

Term

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Career

15

2

2

4

+1

5

Season

15

2

2

4

+1

5

Last 10

10

2

2

4

-1

5

vs. Florida

1

0

0

0

+1

0

Got something to add? Join the conversation below - Islanders' fans welcome too, just keep it civil. Check back here throughout the week for breaking news, and keep a bookmark here for tomorrow night, when we go over the Islanders' story in the crease.