New York Islanders forward, Andrew Ladd, has left a lot to be desired from the moment he signed his contract in July of 2016.
Andrew Ladd suffered through another abysmal season offensively and is not living up to expectations thus far.
Ladd, who has played in the middle-six forward group since he arrived in Brooklyn, has yet to make a significant impact. Positionally, Ladd replaced Kyle Okposo when he left in free agency, but has rarely seen top line minutes. Sure, the middle six has bounced around a lot, but Ladd hasn’t had any major moments as an Islander yet.
As for this past season, Ladd had a much quicker start than his first campaign with New York. In the home opener against Buffalo, he assisted on a shorthanded goal from Casey Cizikas in the second period.
By the end of October, Ladd registered six points. While that may not be a big deal to other players, in the 2016-17 season, Ladd didn’t reach the six-point mark until December 6 in a game against the Rangers.
In addition, Ladd’s 5-on-5 play improved, at least on paper. Whether or not every shift was an improvement from last season is a different story. Ladd was on the ice for 45 goals for and 32 goals against for the 2017-18 season. That’s an improvement of six goals for and 17 fewer goals against compared to last season. In general, that’s a solid improvement, and somewhat impressive considering the right wing on the third line was a carousel of different players throughout the season.
That fast start is a positive. It shows signs of comfort with the team and chemistry with other players. This aspect of the game is extremely important because if a player is not comfortable with a team, the consequences can be brutal. Just look at Colorado after the Duchene situation.
That being said, after registering six points in October, the winger finished with 29 total points in 73 games. This is also the first time that Ladd finished under 30 points since 2006-07. Overall, that’s a horrible slump, but it also featured two separate occasions where the 32-year old went pointless for over a month. That type of play is unacceptable for all players across the NHL. Yet, there were still times he played over Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Ho-Sang. While it may never be known why he played over them, let’s just say it wasn’t for his spectacular special teams play.
Ladd is on both the power play and penalty kill, therefore, he immediately gets extra minutes every game. Head coach Doug Weight has to take accountability, however. Ladd recorded just one power-play point all year and was a part of a penalty kill that finished dead last at just 73.2 percent. With neither of his units performing as expected, how is Ladd not taken off the unit, or the lines at least shuffled? That’s on Weight.
Although Ladd is not expected to be the top point producer, the British Columbia native should not be registering these dismal numbers. Ladd has been a complete disappointment, to say the least. At this point, the smartest move for the Islanders is to try and sell him with a prospect or high draft pick to get his salary off the team. If that happened, they can allocate that money to other needs such as goaltending or defense.
In the event no one is interested, no one could blame the other teams either, then he is on the books for five more years unless the Islanders buy him out. That comes at an expensive cost, however. According to nhlnumbers.com, buying out Ladd would result in the Islanders paying him $4.833 million per year until his contract is up. After that, $333 thousand for the next five years would be owed to him. Savings would amount to a little over half a million dollars during his contract years, making a buyout, not the best option.
Final Grade: D+
Certain parts of Ladd’s game have improved from his first year with the Islanders, but in general, the negatives outweigh the positives. So realistically, it looks like the Islanders and Ladd are in for the long haul. Perhaps Ladd could be the next Mikhail Grabovski and go to Seattle with a first round pick when that expansion draft occurs.