The New York Islanders brought in Derick Brassard to be a productive veteran presence on the team, but he has not delivered.
When third-line center Valtteri Filppula left this past offseason, the New York Islanders signed veteran Derick Brassard to a one-year, $1.2 million deal to fill that void.
Brassard is no longer as productive as he once was, but the Islanders thought they’d be adding a crafty veteran with something left in the tank. So far, that really hasn’t been the case.
The 32-year-old has recorded 32 points (10 goals and 22 assists) in 66 games this year. Point-wise, this has been his most productive season in years but, overall, Brassard has been disappointing.
He’s eighth on the team in points (seventh among forwards), tied for seventh in goals, and tied for seventh in assists (sixth among forwards). While Brassard has been able to put up decent offensive numbers, the results aren’t eye-popping.
To make matters worse, Brassard has been brutal on the defensive end. Brassard was so underwhelming at center that he was moved to the right wing on many occasions, and that’s where most of his production came from.
His subpar performance as the team’s third-center may have played a huge role in general manager Lou Lamoriello trading for and signing Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who immediately took Brassard’s place upon joining the team.
It’s constantly mentioned that the Islanders began a cold streak in December and never recovered. The outbreak of coronavirus was the only thing that put a halt to the Isles’ freefall. Brassard was one of the main guys falling victim to this cold streak.
Even so, taking all this into account, all eyes will be on Brassard in the playoffs. After all, Brassard was brought in primarily as a veteran presence, and he has a great deal of that in the playoffs.
In 99 playoff games, the majority of which he played with the rival New York Rangers, Brassard recorded 60 points, coming in the form of 23 goals and 37 assists.
He may very well tap into that playoff experience and be able to put up points for the team, who will need to shake off their slump quickly.
Brassard will likely be featured as the second-line right winger, as that’s where he’s had most of his success this year.
We mustn’t forget that Brassard will be an unrestricted free agent after the season comes to a close, so he’s going to have extra motivation to succeed in order to secure his future in the NHL.
Although Brassard hasn’t been what the Islanders hoped for and expected, he has provided production and still has some time to prove his worth on the grandest stage of all.
FOR FULL STORY ON STANDARD WEBSITE: New York Islanders: Evaluating Derick Brassard’s 2019-20 season | Elite Sports NY