The New York Islanders struck gold last season after calling up 25-year old Devon Toews up from the AHL. Toews went on to become one of the most effective players for the New York Islanders right away, as he played a major impact in the team’s dominant play in January and throughout the remainder of the year.
Toews appeared in his first game for the Islanders on Dec. 24 against the Dallas Stars, which was the last NHL game for the team before the Christmas break. He was phenomenal that night, showing his electric skating while also playing steady defensively against the heavily offensive Dallas Stars. The most noticeable outcome of his first game was the trust he already received from Islanders head coach Barry Trotz and the rest of the coaching staff, as Toews was apart of the Islanders power-play his first ever game in the big leagues.
As the season went on, Toews only grew into a greater and more mature player each and every single night. The rookie appeared in 48 games for the Islanders, scoring 18 points and five goals within that span. Right from the very beginning Toews gave the fanbase a “Nick Leddy like” impression as he was always using his quick legs to tremendously help on both sides of the rink.
Coming into the season reporters and fans were all stunned due to the Islanders decision to keep Luca Sbisa on the roster over Toews, who had an exceptional training camp and preseason and truly looked like an “NHL ready” talent each and every shift. The main reason he started his season in Bridgeport was due to his season ending shoulder surgery last season. The Islanders felt it was best to give him time to excel in the AHL and gain more momentum in his game rather than being rushed right into a starting job on the Islanders. If he had not fully recovered and adjusted to the tougher competition, it could have been a precarious situation.
The most underrated aspect of Toews’ game is his brilliant passing. Toews is able to dish the puck with ease from every angle on the ice. His outstanding passing is always demonstrated on the power-play, as Toews feeds the puck all around the ice with no trouble whatsoever and makes passes that seem to be impossible look easy. Another great aspect to Toews’ play is his ability to keep the puck in the zone on the power-play, another one of Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy’s specialties.
Toews’ entry level contract expires after next season, but expectations have never been higher for the young defender. Toews was already seen as at least the third best defenseman on the Islanders, and next season will be monumental in Toews growth as he could truly flourish into one of the top defenseman in the NHL.
Expect Toews point total to skyrocket in the 2019-2020 season, as he will be more confident in starting or joining offensive rushes.
Get ready. The sky is the limit.
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