The 1990s weren’t a great decade for the New York Islanders. The entry draft wasn’t an exception. Ranking the 90s draft classes shows why.
Going over the New York Islanders draft classes of the 1990s is a clear reminder of the dramatic turn the organization took to build a competitive roster under new management.
Bill Torrey, the man that built the Islanders from an expansion franchise to one of the greatest dynasties the NHL has ever seen would leave in the early ’90s and eventually be replaced by Mike Milbury.
Mike was the face of the movement that saw the Islanders drop from the golden era under Torrey into irrelevance and even comical relief for the NHL. Sure, Mike didn’t have the greatest set of owners to deal with, but he was the one making the calls and the calls he made didn’t pan out.
Just looking at the drafts that were conducted under his watch and what eventually happened to the players selected shows the direction he decided to take, and how misguided it was.
Mike wanted veteran players to take the Isles into a new era and in order to get those vets he used his draft capital to get them.
As with the other draft class rankings, what I’m evaluating is a class’s impact on the club by the picks the team made. For this, I don’t care if a drafted player was traded for a better (or worse) player. What I want to rank is the impact each draft class had on the Islanders.
I’m measuring “impact on the club” by the number of games played for the club. Only if the number of games played between two draft classes is pretty close will I look at production.
I’ve already done a ranking of the New York Islanders draft classes from the 2010s and 2000s. You can see them here: