A True Underdog Story: Jon Landry
This off season has seen the Islanders organization bring in new faces to the club and has seen old faces leave the organization. Not every move the Islanders have made, Lubomir Visnovsky, or chose not to make, P.A Parenteau, have been as publicized as those two moves.
But the most, underrated move the Islanders made this offseason was re-signing defenseman Jon Landry to a one-year, two-way contract. This is Landry’s first NHL contract, after playing with on a PTO contract last season, and he deserved it. (Photo Credit:Les_Stockton/Flickr)
For those that don’t know Landry here is a quick glance at his career and where he has been before Bridgeport. He played Division III hockey at Bowdoin College, graduating in 2005-2006. He then had two quick stops in the AHL and ECHL before playing for the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL from 2006-2010. Then he had stops in the DEL and EIHL for the end of the 2009-2010 season and than all of the 2010-2011 season. He finally landed with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL and than got called up to play and finished the 2011-2012 season with the Sound Tigers.
Once Landry came to Bridgeport he didn’t look out of place. He finished third in points (20) behind Matt Donovan (45 points) and Aaron Ness (27 points) for defenseman on the Sound Tigers. Donovan and Ness also played 72 and 69 games respectfully and Landry only played 34 games. He also finished tied for second, out of defenseman, in plus/minus with a +11 with Donovan. Steve Oleksy led the Sound Tigers defensemen with a +16.
On a team where Donovan, Ness, Calvin de Haan, and former first round draft pick Ty Wishart are suppose to be the defenseman that everyone expects to be the best on the team. Landry slowly climbed the ladder and was the best defenseman on the division winning Sound Tigers at the end of the season.
With one spot opened on the Islanders blue line going into next season, most writers and fans expect the spot to go to Donovan, Ness or de Haan. Landry will be the dark horse in that completion and might even win the spot with a memorable training camp, especially with ex-Sound Tigers coached Brent Thompson on the Islanders bench for this coming season.
Landry isn’t as talented as Donovan, Ness or de Haan, but those three are 22 years old or younger, and it wouldn’t hurt that they spend more time working on their games in the AHL. Landry is a solid defenseman that rarely makes mistakes and that comes with experience and that is something that Landry has, as mentioned earlier in the post, and something that none of the three kids have.
Landry has always been doubted his whole career, he played Division III hockey, he wasn’t drafted, he finally made it to the AHL when the Sound Tigers defensive corps was depleted and he became the best defenseman on the team and he finally got his first NHL contract at the ripe age of 29.
Impossible does not exist in the life of Jon Landry, and he has shown that the impossible is… well possible.