New York Islanders Failures at the Draft Table
Drafted (Year/Position): 1988, 16th overall
Career Stats: N/A
Draft Class: Troy Mallette (22nd), Tie Domi (27th), Mark Recchi (67th)
The current GM of the Winnipeg Jets comes next on the list. Yeah, it’s the same guy. The defenceman from the Brandon Wheat Kings was a big defender for his time at 6’0″ and 202 lbs who played a physical game.
Never one to put up many points in junior Cheveldayoff’s appeal was his physical style of play. Finding a place on the recent Patrick Division Champions would be difficult for Cheveldayoff. Unfortunately for Cheveldayoff, he was never able to make it and never played in the NHL.
Drafting in the first-round generally means you’re drafting someone with potential. To never play in the NHL is a massive bust. The scouting reports on Cheveldayoff must have been glowing for the Isles to take him at 16, but they were clearly well off the mark.
Cheveldayoff was in a weak draft year when you look at the careers some went to have either around him or after him. Seven players in the first round would play less than 100 games in the NHL.
It could just have been a gamble that the Islanders took simply because they felt he was the best player by the time they got to their turn. There were some diamonds in the rough, just like every year, but scouting reports are very different from team to team. To pick someone like Marck Recchi at 16 rather than his eventual 67th wouldn’t have happened, just like it doesn’t happen now.
Not to say that the entire 1988 draft class was a waste. The top ten of the 1988 draft included the likes of Mike Modano (1), Jeremy Roenick (8), and Teemu Selanne (10).
Next: No.3 Ryan O'Mara