Kelly Hrudey was selected in the second round of the 1980 draft. He made his NHL debut in the 1983-1984 season and played with the Islanders until the 1988-1989 season when he was dealt midseason to the Kings for Mark Fitzpatrick and Wayne McBean.
The 1984-1985 season is when Hrudey began to split time with Billy Smith. Smith, who was 35, transitioned to a lesser role. Hrudey’s best year with the Islanders came in 1985-1986 when he had a .906 save percentage and a 3.22 goals against average.
That year, Hrudey also had a career-high 45.87 goals saved above average. That’s insane! Keep in mind in the mid 80’s it was a different game so a .906 and 3.22 is actually fairly good. He’d also finish fifth in Vezina votes that season.
(Side note: Hrudey would finish third in Vezina voting in 1987-88 with 22 wins a .896SV% and 3.34GAA. And then he was traded the next season.)
To go from Billy Smith to Kelly Hrudey is actually not that bad, he was relatively productive for the New York Islanders for six years before he was traded away for a much younger Mark Fitzpatrick.
Hrudey’s 106 wins is good enough for fourth all-time in team history while his six shutouts with the Islanders are good enough for seventh all-time.