Apr 5, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) shoots the puck as Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) chases in the third period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) shoots the puck as Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) chases in the third period at Verizon Center. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Overcoming The Sophomore Slumps

One of the largest factors that hit the Islanders the hardest last season was the regression of forwards Anders Lee, Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson.

Yes, I include Brock Nelson here because despite scoring 26 goals last season, he is weak on his feet, gets pushed around too often, and has failed to make any significant improvements from last season. He was streaky again, this time just putting a few more goals while he was on a streaky offensive tear.

Ryan Strome needs to forget completely about what happened last season. He needs to find the fire to build off of what he had in his first season as an NHL player. Strome has had a notable fire lit under him in the preseason, scrapping with a lot of players and displaying the chip on his shoulder in full. This will only motivate him more for this coming season and it is expected the young forward will rebound this season whether he’s centering the third line or moving to the right side of the ice.

Anders Lee actually showed a lot of promise, rebounding nicely after the NHL All-Star game during the second half of the season. Had it not been for an abysmal first half of the season, he probably would have gotten much closer to last year’s totals. His issue is identical to Nelson’s and it’s consistency. However Lee plays the body and parks himself in front of the net, a skill set that is invaluable to any line he plays on, especially the powerplay.


His issue is identical to Nelson’s, and it’s consistency. However, Lee plays the body and parks himself in front of the net, a skill set that is invaluable to any line he plays on, especially the powerplay.

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Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.