New York Islanders Absolute Failure at 1999 NHL Draft
Tenth Overall – Branislav Mezei
That’s three picks int he top ten. And this rate the New York Islanders were drafting a core of players for the future. They got a center in Connolly, a winger with Pyatt, and at number 10 they picked a big defender in Branislav Mezei.
At 6’5″ 251lbs Mezei was a big boy to patrol the blue line. It exactly what he did in junior for the Belleville Bulls. He didn’t score much, but he was a big presence for the Bulls. And that’s what Millbury hoped Mezei could do for the Isles.
Obviously, he didn’t. That’s the entire point of this post.
Mezei lasted two seasons, with the New York Islanders splitting both seasons between the NHL and the AHL. He played 66 games for the Islanders with seven points and 65 penalty minutes.
In 2002 Mezei was traded to the Panthers for Jason Weimer, who was about as the players the Isles gave up. Not.
Within two seasons the New York Islanders had traded all three of their top 10 picks in the 1999 NHL Draft for the rights to Michael Peca and Jason Wiemer.
What a bust. But wait! There’s more!