Anders Lee was captain of the Notre Dame hockey team in his junior year of college. After waving his final year of college eligibility, Lee was drafted in the 6th round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders.
He joined the Islanders’ minor league affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he scored 41 points in 54 AHL games before being called up to the NHL towards the end of last season.
In his 22 games with the Islanders last season, Lee notched 14 points and showed signs of potential.
Coming into training camp this season, Lee told Newsday’s Arthur Staple about the level of competition, and what he can do to help improve his team in a brief interview.
“I really feel I can help the team and if I can make the team better, then I’m in the right spot. I’m going to come in and play my game and hopefully things will fall into place. The end of last year was good, but that’s last year. I showed them what I can do, even in a small sample, but I believe I can do that over a longer stretch of a whole season. Just come in, play my game and not think too much about it, I guess.”
At the start of this season no one really saw Anders Lee coming. After playing just 11.42 minutes per game in November, Lee struggled to be an affective member of the team, scoring just six points in his first 18 games in the season.
Lee made a huge impact on the Islanders in February, scoring 7 goals and 8 assists while filling in for Kyle Okposo on the first line after Okposo went down with a detached retina. Lee’s average time on ice increased to 17:46, and he took advantage of the extra minutes by scoring 7 goals and 8 assists and being named Rookie of the Month for the month of February.
Lee’s numbers took a hit in March, scoring just six points in 13 games and being demoted to the third line following Okposo’s return.
The Islanders will need Lee to play like he did in February in the upcoming NHL playoffs.
Evers since Lee’s numbers dropped in March, the Islanders have struggled, forfeiting the division lead and potentially surrendering home ice advantage in the playoffs.
Lee has been a huge factor for New York’s success thus far this season, and will be a huge factor in deciding how far the Islanders will go in the playoffs.