After only playing 26 games last season, it is no secret that Islanders fans are growing more and more frustrated with Andrew Ladd. He returned from a lower-body injury last season in late February and found himself back on the injured reserve in a matter of weeks with a torn ACL. It’s definitely been a rough year and a half for Ladd, but after a four-game conditioning stint in Bridgeport, the highly-paid winger is ready to get back into the lineup.
In 26 games last year, Ladd showed flashes of goal-scoring capabilities, as he recorded three goals and 11 points. With the Islanders top-six temporarily set in stone, it is unclear where Ladd will fit in when he returns to the Isles lineup this year. I decided to pretend to be Barry Trotz and make my lineup with Ladd:
I don’t expect Ladd to immediately be given a spot in the top-six as he eases his way back into things, and quite frankly, I don’t expect him to be in the top-six at all this year.
This lineup gives him a chance to play with two very responsible players in Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov and could be a good defensive line for the Isles that will certainly be capable of scoring some goals as well.
Komarov will play center for now, while Derrick Brassard will remain on the wing with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. I decided to put Ross Johnston on the fourth line and make Michael Dal Colle a healthy scratch, as Johnston has really proven himself while Martin recovers.
Although Islanders fans seem to not want Ladd to return from an injury-stint in Bridgeport, he has been through a tough few years and it would make everyone happy if he could come into the lineup, stay healthy, and score some goals. Whether or not this happens remains to be seen.