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Islanders All Time Lists

New York Islanders Top 5 Bill Torrey Shrewdest Draft Picks

Bill Torrey of the Florida Panthers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bill Torrey of the Florida Panthers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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UNIONDALE, NY – JANUARY 29: Former New York Islandes Mike Bossy waves to the crowd prior to the game duing Mike Bossy tribute Night at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 29, 2015 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Mike Bossy | Laval National (QMJHL)

Selection: 15th overall in 1977
Remember, in 1977 the NHL draft only had 18 selections per round, so a 15th overall would be a 26th overall today. That’s a late pick. And it’s not like Bossy had bad numbers. He had outstanding numbers. How about 529 points in 259 games. Or an average of 2.04 points per game.

The issue with Bossy is that he wasn’t seen as a tough player. Teams thought he wasn’t going to survive in the hard reality of the NHL and so team after team passed on him.

The New York Rangers passed on him twice with the eighth pick (Lucien DeBlois) and 13th pick (Ron Duguay). Toronto passed on Bossy twice with the eleventh (John Anderson) and 12th (Trevor Johansen) overall picks. Even his hometown Montreal Canadiens passed on him, taking Mark Napier at tenth overall.

Individually, none of those players came close to Bossy’s 1126 NHL points. In fact, the player with the second most points in the draft that season was taken in the second round and 33rd overall; John Tonelli. Yup, the Islanders, again.

Bossy was arguably the best natural goal scorer to ever play. His 573 goals in 752 games were unmatched. Even Wayne Gretzky and his league-leading 894 career goals, only scored a goal every 0.60 games. Bossy topped that with a goal every 0.76 games.

Bossy was an easy candidate for the NHL Hall of Fame. His Calder Trophy, his Conn Smythe and three Lady Byng’s as well as four Stanley cup rings, Bossy was the steal of the 1977 draft. And Torrey made no mistake when it was his turn to make a selection.

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