Adam Pelech injury: Islanders place D-man on LTIR, will miss at least 11 games

Adam Pelech injury Islanders
Adam Pelech (left) (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Islanders are down one of their top defensemen for the foreseeable future, the team announcing on Saturday before puck drop against the Philadelphia Flyers that veteran blueliner Adam Pelech was placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) due to an upper-body injury. 

“There’s no question the type of player he is and how important he is to the lineup,” Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello said. “But injuries are part of the game and you have to rise to the occasion. That’s exactly what transpired in the game last night is what we expect from our players.”

Pelech suffered the injury just 2:23 into Friday night’s 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators when Drake Batherson hit him into the end boards. He immediately clutched his wrist and went straight down the tunnel. He did not return for the rest of the game. 

The 29-year-old is half of the Islanders’ top defensive pairing where he’s recorded three assists in 16 games this season to go with a plus-6 rating. 

By NHL rules, placing a player on LTIR means he’s expected to miss 24 days of action. The Islanders have 12 games during that stretch. It’s yet another notable blow for a defense that has struggled to stay at full strength this season.

Adam Pelech Islanders
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)


Not only did Pelech miss two games earlier this season with a lower-body injury, but Scott Mayfield missed seven games as well, also because of a lower-body injury. Just moments after Pelech was forced out on Friday, fellow defenseman Sebastian Aho also suffered an injury that ended his night early. The Islanders have yet to provide an update on him.

Samuel Bolduc is expected to slot back into the lineup with Pelech out. The extra defenseman has already appeared in 10 games this season, but his time was often limited on the third pairing alongside Aho. He averaged just 9:38 of ice time per game.

The Islanders also claimed veteran blueliner Mike Reilly off waivers — the team is able to fit his $1 million cap hit on the box despite having approximately $534,000 in space because they put Pelech on LTIR, which allows them to exceed the cap. 

Grant Hutton was also recalled from Bridgeport for additional depth, especially with Reilly unable to join the Islanders until after Saturday’s game against the Flyers.

For more on Adam Pelech and the Islanders, visit AMNY.com