Rick DiPietro | Goalie
Technically Billy Smith was drafted by the New York Islanders. Just not through the NHL entry draft. The New York Islanders were able to get Billy Smith in the 1972 expansion draft that initially stocked their team.
But through-out this piece I’ve been dealing with the entry draft. I didn’t think it would be in good spirit to toss out a curveball on the last slide. So no Billy Smith. Sorry.
But how about first overall pick in 2000 Rick DiPietro?
Sure, his history with the Islanders is rather tainted. Thanks to never living up to that massive 15-year contract that the Islanders offered him. To be fair, that’s not DiPietro’s fault. The organization gave him a huge deal, he’s not about to say no.
When healthy DiPietro wasn’t a terrible goalie. He played 318 games for the Islanders and held a 130-126-8 regular-season record with an average 0.902SV% and 2.87GAA.
Those 130 wins rank him as the third-winningest goalie in New York Islanders history.
Yes. Injury completely derailed his career. But when he was in the net he was a good goalie. In 2006-07 he finished eighth in Vezina voting thanks to a 32 win season with an average 0.919SV% and 2.58GAA.
Look, I know he wasn’t worth a 15-year $67.5 million deal. But of all the goalies the Islanders drafted he’s the best one.
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He was never that franchise defining goalie the New York Islanders thought they had, but he was still better than any other goalie that the Islanders drafted.