It was announced Thursday afternoon that New York Islanders center, Anders Lee will be the 15th captain in team history. This is the latest in a series of major changes the team has seen since the end of last season. During the offseason former captain, John Tavares, signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a move that left the majority of the fan base feeling betrayed. Lee, however, certainly has what it takes to step into this role.
The Islanders drafted Lee in the 6th round, 151st overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. From there the Minnesota native played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and the University of Notre Dame until being calling up to the Islanders during the 2012-2013 season. Lee scored his first NHL goal during the first period of his first game as an Islander on April 2, 2013. Lee then spent the next two seasons being sent up and down between the Islanders AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the New York Islanders. It was finally in 2015 that Lee secured a more permanent place in the big leagues.
Quickly Lee became a star player, scoring 34 goals during the 2016-2017 season, mainly playing on a line with Josh Bailey and John Tavares. It was during this season that Lee was also presented with the Bobby Nystrom Award. This award is given in recognition of an Islanders player who “represents leadership, hustle and dedication”.
Since that breakout season, Lee has remained a constant presence on the ice with 124 career NHL goals and 207 total points and has shown to be an active member of the Islanders community on and off the ice. For the past two years the player has organized the Anders Lee Kancer Jam in an effort to raise money to support the Jam Kancer In The Kan Foundation Fund. This organization supports families of children who are battling cancer. The Kancer Jam is a basketball tournament where fans get the opportunity to play with and against Anders and other Islanders while raising money for this special cause.
Anders will wear the “C” on his jersey tonight during the Islanders season opener on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders alternate captains will be Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey, and Andrew Ladd.
With the naming of the new captain, fans hope that this will solidify the new Islanders that they have been long awaiting.