As my hometown Montréal Canadiens played the New York Islanders in Brooklyn for the first time last night, one Isles player who really stood out was defenseman Nick Leddy. It seemed every time he was on the ice, he carried the puck from one end of the ice to the other on his own and dictated play.
Even the statistics are telling: on a team that lost 5-3, he played 25:44 and was a +2. That's right, without him, it's a 5-1 game. Honestly, he looked a bit like Duncan Keith out there last night; I honestly think that the fact they both wear #2 is no coincidence.
The Minnesota native already has a World Juniors bronze medal on his resume, and he'll be suiting up for Team USA for a number of years, possibly on the top pair with Seth Jones.
The Habs and Isles close out a home-and-home series on Sunday at the Bell Centre, and while I do not yet have tickets for the game, I'm tempted to go in part to see him play live. Although, technically, I have all the time in the world, seeing as he signed a 7-year deal with the Islanders last February.
Here he is back in his days with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2013:
Upper Deck's 2014-15 Series 1 collection, showing him in the Hawks' classic red (now-home) uniform, with a white game-worn jersey swatch inserted in it.