By Zackery Robert
Moving on to the city that never sleeps, we will stop here for two different teams and first up is the New York Islanders. The Islanders were a force in the ’80s winning four Stanley Cups, they have been drafting since 1972 and have drafted quite a few good players in their time.
First up we will take a look at the 1973 draft where the New York Islanders held the first overall pick and chose defenseman Denis Potvin. Denis Potvin was successful right out of the gate for the New York Islanders. He won the Calder trophy for rookie of the year in 1974 and he would go on to win three Norris trophies as the league’s top defenseman in 1976 1978 and 1979. Potvin would be a part of the Islanders Dynasty in the ’80s helping them capture four Stanley Cups. Potvin played 1,060 games in the NHL, all for the Islanders, and in those games he amassed 1,052 points. Potvin had a career high of 101 points in a single season during the 1978-1979 season. Potvin would play in the NHL from 1973 until his retirement at the end of the 1988 season. and on February 1st 1992 the New York Islanders retired Denis Potvin’s jersey in front of the New York Islanders fans.
Coming up next we stay in the 70s and we look at the 1974 draft where in the second round the New York Islanders selected Bryan Trottier with the 22nd overall pick in that 1974 draft. Trottier would play with the Islanders from 1975 until the end of the 1990 season and during that time Trottier would help the Islanders secure their forced Stanley Cups in the 1980s. Trottier would also have quite the personally successful time with the Islanders, he won the Calder trophy in 1976, he also won the Hart trophy and Art Ross trophy in the 1978-1979 season, he scored 134 points in 76 games. Trottier also won the Conn Smythe in the 1980 playoffs as playoff MVP. Trottier scored a total of 1353 points in 1123 games for the New York Islanders, and on October 20th 2001 the New York Islanders retired Trottier’s number 19.
For this last choice of best Islanders draft picks we will head to 1977 in the first round at pick number 15 where the New York Islanders selected Mike Bossy. Due to injuries Bossy would only end up playing 752 games in the NHL between 1977 and 1987 but in those 752 games Bossy scored an impressive 573 goals and 553 assists for a total of 1126 points. Between 1977 and 1986 Mike Bossy would not end a season under 51 goals, so for a full nine years Mike Bossy was one of the most feared goal scorers in the NHL. Bossy would win the Calder trophy in 1978 and the Conn Smythe trophy in 1982. Bossy would also win three Lady Byng trophies in 1983, 1984, and 1986. Due to injuries Mike Bossy would retire at the end of the 1987 season, he would subsequently be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and have his jersey number 22 retired by the New York Islanders on March 3rd 1992.
Moving on to pics that the New York Islanders would like to forget we will start in the 2012 draft where the New York Islanders held the 4th overall pick and chose Griffin Reinhart. Reinhart was touted as the best defenseman in that draft class and had a lot of potential, but when he hit the ice he was never able to meet that potential. Reinhart played in only 37 games in his NHL career scoring only 2 points in that time. He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2015 for a first round pick which ended up being Current Islanders star Mathew Barzal so that would have been the peak of good that Reinhart did for the organization. When in Edmonton it did not get any easier for Reinhart to play in the NHL so he left North America at the end of the 2018-2019 season and went to play in the KHL, and the DEL league and the EIHL.
Next up we will move to the 2014 NHL entry draft where the New York Islanders held the fifth overall pick and chose forward Michael Dal Colle. Now Dal Colle had quite a lot of potential going into the NHL entry draft, he was a big body that had quite the offensive upside. However none of that offensive upside has been able to translate over into the NHL to date as Dal Colle has only played in 112 games since being drafted and has scored only 21 points in those games. Currently Dal Colle is in the Finnish Elite League playing for TPS Turku where in his first season he scored a total of 19 points in 36 games. It is safe to say that this pick did not turn out the way the New York Islanders had hoped for.
Finally we will take a look at the 1994 draft where the New York Islanders held the ninth overall pick. In this draft the Islanders drafted Lindros but not the one that you are probably thinking of, but his brother Brett. Now Brett did not have all of the hype that his brother Eric had to be fair but the reason he ends up on this list is because he was drafted ninth overall and was only able to play in 51 games overall and scoring seven points in those 51 games. Putting the name aside this would be quite the disappointing outcome for any 9th overall pick in the draft, Lindros was not able to gain traction in the NHL and after the 1996 season Lindros retired and did not play anymore professional hockey. There were many better options for the Islanders to pick at this time in the draft, players like Patrik Elias who was drafted in the second round or players who were drafted just a few picks after Lindros such as Ethan Moreau or Mattias Ohlund both drafted within the next five picks after Lindros.
Currently the New York Islanders are looking for answers after a fairly disappointing season, unable to make it past the first round of the playoffs they find themselves looking towards the NHL entry draft where they will have to wait until the second round to make their first selection. The Islanders hold five picks in this upcoming draft and with their first pick being in the second round they will look to draft somewhere around pick 49. In fact the Islanders have not held a first round draft pick since 2019 so their Prospect pool could be headed for some dangerous grounds if they do not select in the first round soon. being that their first pick is going to be in the mid second round range their best bet would be to take the best available player at that time. They do not need a goalie currently so two players that could be of great help to the Islanders in the future around that mid second round range could be winger Quentin Musty or defenseman Caden Price.
For more information on the 2023 NHL Draft class be sure to pick up your copy of the comprehensive DraftPro 2023 NHL Draft Guide.