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Mayfield’s Thoughts as Trade Deadline Looms, Teammates’ Words

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New York Islanders, Scott Mayfield
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield celebrating with Alexander Romanov following Mayfield's go-ahead goal (Photo: Courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

EAST MEADOW, NY — Since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft, Scott Mayfield has given his blood, sweat, and tears to the New York Islanders over his nine-year career.

Despite being a bottom-pairing defenseman for most of his tenure, Scott Mayfield’s role had never been limited to bottom-pairing minutes.

He’s been a force on the Islanders’ penalty kill over the years. He’s been a minutes eater, playing close to 20 minutes per night for the last four seasons.

But now, with the NHL Trade Deadline coming at 3 PM ET on Friday, the Islanders have to decide on Scott Mayfield’s future.

Mayfield is a pending unrestricted free agent with five goals and 12 assists through 64 games, two points shy of his career-high. He’s averaged more than 20 minutes per game (20:51) for the first time in his career.

Not only that, but he’s inching towards setting a new career-high in blocks, and his 20 takeaways are just one shy of a career-high in that category as well.

“I like where my game is at,” Mayfield said. “I think each defense pair brings something different whether I’m with Romanov, Pelech, or Aho. The righties are the only guys who haven’t played together. I think we’ve all rotated everything else.”

Mayfield continued: “It’s been good. There’s always gonna be little rough patches here and there. Whether it’s partner changes, lineup changes, whatever it is, injuries with Pelech out, Dobson missed a couple there, it’s all part of it. That’s just kind of how the ebbs and flows of the season go.”

At 30 years old, Mayfield will get a pay raise from his $1.45 million, with the potential to get somewhere around the $3 million range annually.

Given what he brings, especially to a playoff team, the Islanders could likely get a first-round pick, depending on the trade partner, if not a second-rounder.

One of Lamoriello’s strengths is retaining players, which he’s often done with his defensemen, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Mayfield take a hometown deal.

Adam Pelech inked an eight-year extension worth $5.75 million annually in 2021-22, while Ryan Pulock‘s eight-year extension at $6.15 million kicked in this season. Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov are each on three-year bridge deals, which they signed this past summer at $4 million and $2.5 million, respectively.

Scott Mayfield was asked if he was hopeful he could re-sign, whether now or this summer. He responded with an adamant “yeah” before saying the following:

“My goal right now is to focus on making playoffs. I think that’s the number one thing I’m worried about. It’s all about playoffs for me. That’s when I like playing hockey the most. It’s the most fun. It’s what we all play for. That’s the focus right now. I think I’ve been pretty straightforward. I love it here. And the organization is great. So we’ll see what happens.”

All Mayfield has ever known is Long Island. Although it is a business, the island is where he wants to be.

“I love it here. It’s where I started my career. They took a chance on me when I was 18. And it’s been great here. Some pretty special moments in terms of the conference finals a couple of times, the bubble. There’s a bunch of stuff that happened. I’m married now and settled down here. So we love it here, and, yeah, it’s special.”

Some of Mayfield’s teammates weighed in on his importance on and off the ice.

“Scott has been solid since he’s been in here with us,” Islanders captain Anders Lee told NYI Hockey Now. “We came up together, spent some time together in Bridgeport. He’s always gonna give you his best effort every night and one that does a lot of the unsung heroes stuff on the backend. He blocks a ton of shots. He’s great on the penalty kill. He’s a big body that can move guys around.

“So he’s been a huge asset for us throughout the years and one that we rely on heavily.”

He’s also a strong presence in the room as well.

“Scott, he’s a great guy. I mean, he’s always on top of the food scene here and there, and Pelech always got a good restaurant to go to,” Lee said. “He’s just a good Midwestern guy, like, he doesn’t need a whole lot and happy-go-lucky a little bit, but also, you put him in the skates, and there’s a switch there. And I love that about him.”

Although Pelech has not played a ton with Mayfield at the NHL level, they played together in Bridgeport and have had similar career paths.

“I’ve played with him ever since I’ve been here with this organization like we were defense partners in Bridgeport,” Adam Pelech told NYI Hockey Now. “We came up around the same time. So we’ve had a really similar path and been together the whole way.”

“I can’t say enough about him as a teammate, as a guy, and as a player, so, yeah, he’s a huge part of this team, and he’s a leader here.”

Sebastian Aho played a ton with Mayfield earlier this season and throughout, and he told NYI Hockey Now how much Mayfield has meant to his development.

“A lot, to put it simply,” teammate Sebastian Aho told NYI Hockey Now. “He’s been here since I got to the organization, even when I was in Bridgeport and just getting to be around him during the camps and stuff. And certainly, since I’ve been up the last three years, I mean, he sees those little things that I might not see about my game, and he points them out, and he’s been helpful.”

“I mean, he’s got a ton of experience, and he knows how to stay in this league and how to play good hockey.”

As for the food comment from Lee, “Oh yeah, he’s great. Especially when I was called up my first couple of times here, he would pick out the restaurants, and I would pretty much just follow along, and it hasn’t missed yet.”

Noah Dobson also weighed in on the leadership of Mayfield.

“Yeah, he’s been great. He’s a big piece of our team, plays in a lot of key situations, penalty kill, gets the tough matchups,” Dobson said. “He’s a really underrated player. I think everyone knows how good he is defensively, but he’s got offensive instincts as well that I think doesn’t get enough appreciation, and he’s a great guy in the room, so he’s a big piece of our team for sure.”

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has Mayfield as a player since he arrived on Long Island as Barry Trotz’s assistant in 2018 before taking over head coaching duties this season.

To him, Mayfield is incredibly valuable.

“Well, he’s extremely important. He plays a consistent hockey game. He’s a big defender. He’s got great range. He’s a great leader, and he’s extremely detailed, and obviously, he’s a massive part of our penalty kill, which has been good.”

“I can’t say enough about his value.”

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