Garth Snow needs to sign Anders Lee now. The rookie forward enjoyed a breakthrough 2014-15 and is on the verge of exploding.
By Michael Iuzzini
The New York Islanders have a handful of possibilities and a few question marks heading into next season. For the first time in decades fans are more than comfortable with 90% of the team that will return come October.
There are a couple of gaps to fill and some holes to cover, but what needs to be first addressed by general manager Garth Snow is signing rookie winger Anders Lee long-term.
In 2015, Lee registered 41 points. 25 were goals as he finished 6th among NHL rookies.
Lee enjoyed a breakthrough season and was an influential part to the team’s overall success. Anders’ early season fruition came when he was a part of the “Kid Line” that included Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson.
For his work, Lee was then promoted to the first line after Kyle Okposo was out with the eye injury.
Lee had found his home by planting himself in front of the goal and becoming one of the most lethal players at that location on the ice. His senses and skills in deflecting pucks showed the maturity of the 24 year-old rookie. He’s a big boy standing at 6’2″, which is a large body for any d-man to move, not to mention becoming a nightmare annoyance for goaltenders.
The first plan of action on general manager Garth Snow’s to do list this summer is to sign Anders Lee to a three to five-year deal. Lee should absolutely be in the Isles future plans, and the soon to be free agent needs to know how important he is to the organization.
Unfortunately for Anders, he lost steam at the wrong time and was non-existent in the playoffs. All which is a learning curve for any young player come playoff time.
If the Isles plan to be more than just contenders, but a super force to be reckoned with Lee needs to be part of that formula.
Garth has made some bold moves in the past that did not work in the Isles favor. That changed last season when Snow traded for Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. Those two transactions, along with the results should have put him in the running for GM of the year. Garth knows what is needed and who he wants on his team. Anders Lee should be without a doubt his first priority.
Islanders fans must try to find a way to survive the summer especially the hockey abyss of August. Nobody can predict how this team will respond to their new digs and pressure of taking the next step as a team. There will be not much room for era, as fans will look for the team to explode out of the gates.
One thing is for certain, the team can be a powerhouse and it will be much easier if No. 27 is still a part of the equation.[su_button url=”https://elitesportsny.com/2015/06/16/new-york-knicks-open-to-trading-no-4-pick/” target=”blank” background=”#0b396d” size=”10″ wide=”yes” radius=”0″]NEXT: Knicks Open To Trading No. 4 Pick[/su_button]