2014 Fantasy Hockey: Islanders acquire Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy
Today was a big day for the New York Islanders, as they have acquired two talented blue-liners — each with a different skill set.
Here are the trades:
Boychuk to the Islanders for a2nd in 2015, 2nd in 2016 and a coniditonal third in 2015
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 4, 2014
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 4, 2014
Each one of these moves drastically improve a defense that allowed the third most goals/gm behind only the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers. The most significant impact will be felt on special teams however, where the Islanders ranked 29th on the penalty-kill and 17th on the power-play last year.
Obviously the question at stake here for our purposes is: How will this trade affect the fantasy values of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk?
Johnny Boychuk isn’t really a force in Fantasy Hockey unless your league counts hits or blocked shots — he finished 29th among defensemen in blocked shots, and 23rd in hits during his 2013-2014 campaign. His real contribution to fantasy will be to boost the stock of Jaroslav Halak — who is now a Top-10 goalie.
The Islanders have always yielded too many shot attempts, which is why their 8th place team finish in the blocked shots category was so crucial. Boychuk, a native of Edmonton, Alberta fits in very well with a team that already has two good shot blockers in Travis Hamonic (when healthy) and Thomas Hickey. Ideally, this acquisition will allow super-star John Tavares to focus more on offense — because he still struggles defensively.
Nick Leddy and the rest of the top Islanders power-play unit (Tavares, Mikail Grabovski, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen) are the real winners here aside from Halak. The 23-year-old blue-liner was blocked from being on the top unit in Chicago with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook entrenched on the top unit ahead of him. The Minnesota native should see an increase in power-play points as well as in the shots on goal category. This trade moves Leddy into the Top 40, and slightly boosts the stock of every Islander just previously mentioned.