The New York Islanders are a storied franchise. Coming into the league in 1972, they wasted no time in any respect. Inside eight seasons of coming into the NHL, they might go on to turn out to be among the finest dynasties in NHL historical past. They went on to win 4 Stanley Cups – straight – from 1979-80 to 1982-83. A big a part of how they did that was the NHL Entry Draft.
Because the lead as much as that historic run, the Islanders haven’t had as a lot success within the draft. They’ve drafted glorious gamers, present and future Corridor-of-Famers, however taking a look at their complete draft, there’s been some clear misses.
This checklist will take a look at your complete draft courses and choose the 5 greatest in Islanders’ historical past. They’re listed so as of the yr, reasonably than being ranked.
1972 Islanders Entry and Growth Draft
The Islanders, together with the Atlanta Flames, turned the 13th and 14th groups within the NHL, as talked about, in 1972. The growth draft was held simply earlier than the entry draft. Amongst their growth choices had been goaltender Billy Smith, and ahead Ed Westfall.
Imagine it or not, Smith was the fourth goaltender chosen within the draft. He wound up having the very best profession out of the 4, profitable 304 video games in 17 seasons on the Island. “Battlin’ Billy” helped lead the crew to their 4 Stanley Cups and received the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1983. He additionally received the Vezina Trophy as the highest goaltender within the league in 1982. The star goaltender was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1993.
Billy Smith #31 of the New York Islanders defends the purpose throughout a house recreation, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York, March 1982. (Picture by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Pictures)
Westfall was named the primary captain in crew historical past. He scored the primary purpose in crew historical past, mockingly sufficient of their first recreation towards their fellow new membership, the Flames. Westfall performed seven seasons with the Islanders earlier than retiring following the 1978-79 season.
The crew did fairly properly within the entry draft that season, as properly. New York held the highest total choice and went with winger Billy Harris. The Toronto native began his profession with six-straight 20-goal seasons, with a career-high 32 in 1975-76, when he was named to the All-Star crew. Harris was not part of the Cup-winning groups as he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Butch Goring on March 10, 1980.
Lorne Henning, taken within the second spherical, 17th total, performed his complete, nine-year profession with the Islanders. The middle was a participant/coach for the crew within the 1980-81 season, changing into the final participant/coach on a Stanley Cup-winning crew. He turned the top coach following Al Arbour’s retirement after the 1993-94 season.
Bob Nystrom was chosen within the third spherical, 33rd total. “Mr. Islander” scored arguably essentially the most memorable purpose in crew historical past, the Cup-clinching purpose in Recreation 6 of the 1980 Closing towards the Philadelphia Flyers. Henning assisted on the purpose. Nystrom performed 900 video games on the Island, accumulating 235 targets, 278 assists and 513 factors. He had 20-plus targets seven occasions. The crew retired his No. 23 in 1995.
Associated: High 5 Islanders Targets of All Time
Additional within the draft, Garry Howatt was chosen within the 10th spherical, 144th total. He scored a career-high 21 targets within the 1975-76 season. Recognized for his or her scrappy and energetic fashion of play, Howatt and Nystrom shaped the ‘Dynamic Duo”. He was a member of the 1980 and 1981 Stanley Cup Champions. When he was traded previous to the beginning of the 1981-82 season, Howatt held the Islanders’ profession penalty-minutes report (1,466) and profession playoffs penalty-minutes report (279).
1973 Islanders Draft Class
The Islanders’ second draft was simply as impactful as the primary. As soon as once more, it began on the prime. The crew had the first-overall choice once more, this time selecting defenseman Denis Potvin. He performed his complete 15-year profession with the Islanders, profitable the Calder Trophy, three Norris Trophies, a seven-time All-Star, and was frequently within the dialog for the Hart Trophy.
Potvin was part of all 4 Stanley Cups and was an everyday contributor on the crew. He completed his profession with 310 targets, 742 assists and 1,052 assists – in 1,060 video games. His purpose complete broke Bobby Orr’s report for many by a defenseman. He nonetheless sits fifth on that checklist. He was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1991 and his quantity was retired a yr later.
Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders skates towards the Montreal Canadiens within the 1980s on the Montreal Discussion board in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Picture by Denis Brodeur/NHLI through Getty Pictures)
The Islanders’ second choose didn’t come till the third spherical, 33rd total. Dave Lewis was one other defender drafted, and yet one more to play over 1,000 video games within the NHL. Of his 1,008 video games, 514 of them got here with the Islanders.
The 49th choose of the draft, within the fourth spherical, was Andre St. Laurent. He performed 5 seasons with the Islanders, however 11 total, taking part in in 644 video games. Not precisely a family title, however St. Laurent’s longevity within the NHL proved why he was a worthwhile choose within the 1973 draft.
Skipping all the way down to the ninth spherical, 129th total, the Islanders chosen Bob Lormier. Lormier was part of the primary two Stanley Cup championships for the Islanders, earlier than being traded to the Colorado Rockies in 1981 for his or her 1983 first-round choose (which simply so occurred to be Pat LaFontaine). If his 529 video games and 112 factors aren’t sufficient, getting the Isles LaFontaine is a reasonably large plus.
1974 Islanders Draft Class
Third draft in a row – all full of unimaginable expertise. Few groups can boast that they drafted two future Corridor of Famers in the identical draft. The Islanders chosen Clark Gillies fourth total and Bryan Trottier 22nd total. Gillies supplied the Isles with an offensive and literal punch. Gillies had six 30-goal seasons for New York. The 2002 Corridor-of-Fame inductee performed 872 video games, scoring 304 targets and 359 assists with the Islanders. His No. 9 was retired in 1996.
MONTREAL, CANADA – CIRCA 1983: Clark Gillies #9 of the New York Islanders units up a display screen in entrance of the web throughout a recreation towards the Montreal Canadiens Circa 1983 on the Montreal Discussion board in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Picture by Denis Brodeur/NHLI through Getty Pictures)
Trottier’s affect was felt instantly as he received the Calder Memorial Trophy because the league prime rookie. He scored a then rookie-record 95 factors. He turned the one Islander to win each the Artwork Ross Trophy as league’s prime scorer and the Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP. He received the Conn Smythe in 1980 scoring 29 factors within the playoffs. The truth is, Trottier scored 29 factors in three straight postseasons. The seven-time All-Star’s 1,353 factors nonetheless rank first in crew historical past. His 500 targets are second solely to Mike Bossy. Trottier was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1997.
Associated: New York Islanders’ 50-Objective Scorers
Dave Langevin was chosen within the seventh spherical, 112th total. ‘Bam Bam” was strictly a stay-at-home defenseman. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defender was named to the 1983 All-Star Crew. A member of all 4 Stanley Cup-winning groups, Langevin was named to america Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1993.
Stefan Persson was chosen within the 14th spherical, 214th total. The Swedish defenseman scored the game-tying purpose late within the third interval in Recreation 1 of the Stanley Cup Closing. He scored 5 targets and 10 assists throughout the crew’s first Cup run. Additionally a member of all 4 Cup groups, Persson ranks within the prime 20 in video games performed by a Swedish defenseman with 622.
1977 Islanders Draft Class
It was not the amount however the high quality right here. Mike Bossy was chosen 15th total and is arguably the very best pure purpose scorer in NHL historical past. Bossy had 9 straight 50-plus purpose seasons. His first earned him the Calder Trophy.
Mike Bossy. (Picture by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Pictures)
Bossy turned the second participant in NHL historical past to attain 50 targets in 50 video games, doing so by scoring two targets late within the third interval of the 50th recreation. The seven-time All-Star scored a career-high 147 factors in 1981-82, ending third behind Wayne Gretzky and Trottier for the Hart Trophy. Again accidents ended his profession at age 30. Regardless of the damage, Bossy managed to attain 38 targets in 63 video games in 1986-87. He completed his profession scoring 573 targets in 752 video games, averaging over 50 targets per season. Bossy was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1991 and his No. 22 was retired by the Islanders in 1992.
Associated: 10 of the Finest Duos of all Time in NHL Historical past
John Tonelli was chosen 33rd total on this draft class. One of many higher two-way forwards in Islanders historical past, Tonelli had eight 20-goal seasons, together with two 30-goal seasons and one 40-goal season. He assisted on Nystrom’s Cup-winning purpose in 1980. Tonelli’s purpose late within the third interval in 1982 towards the Colorado Rockies prolonged the Isles’ win streak to 15-straight video games, a then-NHL report. He performed eight seasons on the Island scoring 206 targets.
2009 Islanders Draft Class
Sure, it took 32 years for our subsequent draft class. Regardless of drafting gamers like LaFontaine, Duane and Brent Sutter, Ziggy Palffy, Todd Bertuzzi, Roberto Luongo, Zdeno Chara, and Wade Redden, the remainder of their respective drafts primarily left some to be desired.
In 2009, the Islander lastly had one other win. Each participant that the Islanders chosen performed a minimum of one NHL recreation – alright, fifth-round choose defenseman Anton Klementyev actually performed one recreation.
John Tavares was chosen first total. The centreman performed 9 seasons for the Islanders, accumulating 272 targets, 349 assists and 621 factors in 669 video games. Over that point, he completed top-five in Calder voting, in addition to 3 times ending top-three in Hart Trophy voting. Within the 2018 offseason, Tavares signed along with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, however there’s no questioning his affect on the Islanders whereas he was there.
John Tavares has since turn out to be a celebrity within the NHL (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Calvin de Haan was chosen 12th total. Whereas he hasn’t precisely lived as much as that choice, he’s turn out to be a gentle NHLer. He performed six seasons with the Islanders, scoring 12 targets and 81 factors. Together with Tavares, de Haan left in free company in 2018.
A pair of goaltenders had been taken within the third and fourth rounds: Mikko Koskinen and Anders Nilsson. Whereas each took a while earlier than solidifying their spots within the NHL Koskinen the AHL, ECHL, and Finnish leagues earlier than impressing the Edmonton Oilers sufficient tho give him a contract. As of the 2019-20 season, he’s persevering with to impress. Additionally as of the 2019-20 season, Nilsson has performed for six NHL groups, earlier than settling with the Ottawa Senators.
Casey Cizikas was chosen within the fourth spherical, 92nd total. The centreman is one in all two gamers on this draft nonetheless with the Islanders and has turn out to be a fixture of the crew’s lineup. He put up a profession season in 2018-19, scoring 20 targets, 13 assists and 33 factors. Not precisely game-breaking ability, however undoubtedly a contributor.
Anders Lee was chosen within the sixth spherical, 152nd total. That’s proper, the Islanders drafted two future captains of the crew in a single draft. He scored his first NHL purpose on his first shot, and whereas he hasn’t had the simplest path to the place he’s now, he ended up being a 40-goal scorer in 2017-18 and had three straight 50-point seasons beginning in 2016-17.
Whereas most of the gamers from this draft class moved on from the Islanders, there’s no questioning their affect on the NHL, and for essentially the most half – the Islanders. It began with the 2009 draft class.