Defense: Though Pelech doesn’t hold the blue line as aggressively as other defensemen, he takes great angles to smother puck-carriers and flip possession. No rearguard in the league is better at protecting the high-danger areas. His anticipation is also superb, as he often undercuts passes thanks to his IQ and perhaps the single best stick in the game.
Size: In addition to his instincts, he carries a sturdy 6’3”, 205-pound frame with which he routinely knocks opponents off the puck. His reach is surprisingly long for his size as well, allowing him to cover a ton of ground and recover on plays where it seems as though forwards might have a step on him.
Puck Management: Part of the reason his team fares so well during his shifts is that he handles the puck intelligently once it’s been retrieved. He displays serious poise in possession, waiting for the right look before deciding to launch his club’s transition with a simple, accurate pass.
Reckless: Pelech’s hockey sense usually puts him in great position, but there are times when he gets a bit too bold offensively, charging up without forward support. While he’s a deceptively good skater, he doesn’t boast the type of wheels that justify such risky behavior.
Shot: His shot is underwhelming in both velocity and accuracy. He doesn’t get his bids through traffic as often as he’d like, which can limit scramble or second-chance opportunities for a meat-and-potatoes squad like the Islanders. There’s a reason Ryan Pulock gets much more attention on the blue line.