Welcome to the allislanders.com series of player report cards! In these articles (in alphabetical order by first name), you will see a player’s statistics and our ratings of that player based on a variety of factors.
The most important factor is importance to team and consistency. This rating is out of 25 points, and will be determine based of how important that player was. If the player was off the team, how would the team fare? This question was taken into mind in this ranking.
Offense and defense are also taken into account. This will be determined by how effective the player was by HIS standards. For example, Stephen Gionta may not have had 30 goals or have been a +40, but he was very productive for the team when he played so he will receive a high score.
Physicality/tenaciousness, clutch factor, and leadership are smaller scores that are important to us, so they will be ranked as ten points, ten points and five points respectively. Together, the points available from each category equal 100 points and all the points received will be added up into a letter grade.
Today’s Player Report Card: Thomas Hickey
Thomas Hickey’s 2016-2017 Season Stats: GP: 76 G: 4 A: 16 P: 20 +/-: -1 GWG: 2
Thomas Hickey spent majority of the season playing on the second defensive pairing, playing the left side while Johnny Boychuk played on the right side. However under Doug Weight, he was held accountable like everyone else on the team and some stretches of poor play led to a couple of healthy scratches. By the end of the season, Hickey’s role changed drastically as injuries to offensive players left a gap in the lineup that Hickey filled, playing left wing for the first time at the NHL level. In his first game as a forward, Hickey delivered an overtime winner, something he’s known for, against the Nashville Predators to keep the Islanders playoff hopes alive.
Importance to Team/Consistency: 20/25
In case you forgot, overtime is sudden death in the NHL and if you score you win. Thomas Hickey is pretty good at that, scoring two of his four goals in overtime this season and adding a couple of big plays in regulation to go along with those clutch overtime winners.
Hickey’s offensive numbers aren’t crazy with four goals and 16 assists through 76 games but clearly Doug Weight likes what he bring offensively, choosing him to fill a gap at forward instead of the other six defenseman available to do so.
From a defensive standpoint it was a rough year for Hickey as he went unnoticed until he made a mistake. Unfortunately for him, those mistakes often led to goals and led to healthy scratches under Doug Weight.
Thomas Hickey is underrated in terms of his physicality. Being one of the smaller guys in the league, Hickey is never though of as a physical player but he’s delivered some massive, highlight-reel hits, and for the first time in his NHL career, dropped the gloves this season.
Clutch Factor: 10/10
Thomas Hickey has a knack for the big moments and this season 50% of his goals (2/4) were overtime winners. Last season he scored the overtime winner to clinch a playoff spot for the Islanders, in game three of the Islanders’ first round series against the Florida Panthers and had the secondary assist on Alan Quine’s overtime winner in game five. Including playoffs, seven of Hickey’s 18 NHL goals have been go-ahead goals, six of them were overtime winners. Back to this season though, 50% of your goals being overtime winners goes down as pretty clutch for me. In addition to the two goals, Hickey also took a shot that was deflected and re-directed by Anders Lee for a game-winning goal against Pittsburgh with 26.6 seconds on the clock in what was one of the more exciting moments this season. Hickey’s most recent overtime winner was against Nashville where he made his NHL debut at forward. As the game went to overtime, a loss would mean that the Isles were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention whereas a win would keep their hopes alive. Josh Bailey tried for a pass but it went off a Predator guarding him and into the air. Hickey knocked the puck down, settled it, and got a shot through Subban and Rinne in a huge win after a somewhat broken play.
While his status in the locker room isn’t really known, on the ice Hickey is a leader. Some predict that Hickey will be claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the upcoming expansion draft and would likely be given a letter on his sweater. He did wear the “A” for one game this season against the Dallas Stars.
Thomas Hickey Season Highlights:
Grade: 78/100; C+