Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 

Pedan Taking Big Strides

Islanders prospect taking on increased role with the OHL's Guelph Storm

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 12:00 AM / News
By Greg Picker
X
Share with your Friends


Pedan Taking Big Strides
Getty Images

Andrey Pedan, the Islanders third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, didn’t take much of a vacation after his junior team, the Guelph Storm, was eliminated in six games from the Ontario Hockey League Playoffs. The Kauanas, Lithuania native is already back at the gym, working hard to make his dream of playing in the NHL a reality.

At 6’4”, 205-pounds, one might think that size is the least of Pedan’s concerns, but as Eric Cairns, a former Islander and current member of the Islanders Player Development staff pointed out, Pedan’s next step is to develop his physical game.

“We’re looking for him to get bigger and stronger and I don’t question that Andrey’s ever not going to work hard,” Cairns said. “I trust him. I believe he’s going to work hard.”

In his first season with Guelph in 2010-11, Pedan put up 12 points in 51 games. The following year, Pedan improved on that figure remarkably as his comfort level increased and he took on a greater role with the Storm. During his second OHL campaign, Pedan tallied 10 goals and added 30 assists for 40 points, ranking second among team defensemen in scoring. Pedan’s physical side also showed on the score sheet, as he compiled a team leading 152 penalty minutes.

“I felt more comfortable in the dressing room and maybe it was the same on the ice,” Pedan said of his second season in North America. “The first year I was kind of adjusting to the different rink, different hockey and the next year I came and was ready for everything. The first year some stuff I wouldn’t understand and the next year I was prepared for that.”

Pedan even felt a major improvement in his second season off the ice and in the locker room.

“I think I became a leader in the dressing room,” Pedan said. “I can say something to my teammates to help them.”

Pedan moved from Lithuania to Moscow, Russia at a young age and spent most of his youth there. After turning 16, Pedan, his family and his agent faced the decision of whether he should move to North America to play Canadian Junior Hockey, or continue to develop in Russia. Factoring in the towering defenseman’s physical style of play, Pedan’s agent suggested that the North American system might better facilitate his development. Pedan ended up in the OHL when he was selected by Guelph with the 32nd overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft.

Sixteen-year NHL veteran and current Guelph Storm head coach Scott Walker believes Pedan is the kind of player with a future in the NHL.

Andrey can keep up with the smaller, faster forwards. At the end of that he can punish them off with a powerful, physical check. - Eric Cairns, Islanders Player Development

“I see a guy that can play a lot of minutes and be a big factor,” Walker said. “He can play a physical game. He’s an intimidating defenseman, but with a big shot from the point.”

Pedan won’t turn 20 until July, 2013, leaving him ineligible to begin next season with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He will instead try to earn a spot on the Islanders at training camp, but will likely end up in Guelph for a third campaign, where Walker believes he will be a huge factor.

“We’re definitely going to lean on him a lot,” Walker said. “He’s going to be a number one or two defenseman and play a lot.”

That experience with Guelph should serve Pedan well, as he grows even more comfortable with the North American style of play before joining the pro ranks with the Islanders.

“For a big defenseman to be able to move the way he can move, it can separate him from a bigger defenseman who doesn’t have the same mobility who is a little bit slower,” Cairns said. “Andrey can keep up with the smaller, faster forwards. At the end of that he can punish them off with a powerful, physical check.”

Although Guelph has exited the OHL playoffs in the first round in each of Pedan’s first two years with the Storm, the 18-year-old has really shined in the playoffs. During his first postseason, Pedan tallied eight assists in just six games. This past postseason Pedan scored a goal and three assists in six games.

“I think the season is important, but all hockey starts in the playoffs,” Pedan said. “It’s do or die hockey. I didn’t try to do more, just tried to keep it simple. I don’t know what happened in the playoffs, but I feel way better in the playoffs.”

That’s good news for the Islanders, who will look for Pedan to join their up-and-coming roster as it hits its stride in the next few years.

KICHTON WORKING ON HIS OVERALL GAME | 2012 DRAFT CENTRAL ARCHIVE

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use