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Islanders Ranking 1990s drafts classes: Good, Bad, Ugly

1998 NHL Entry Draft. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
1998 NHL Entry Draft. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
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27 Jun 1998:Michael Rupp of the New York Islanders (Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport)
27 Jun 1998:Michael Rupp of the New York Islanders (Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport)

The Ugly

1995 – Traded Away

Total games played: 34
Biggest impact: Vladimir Orszagh

Thirty-four NHL games are all they got out of seven picks in 1995 and all 34 came from fifth-round pick Vladimir Orszagh. In the first two rounds, the Isles drafted Wade Redden (1,023 NHL games), Jan Hlavac (436 NHL games), and D.J. Smith (45 NHL games).

Redden was sent to Ottawa in a three-team trade that included the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hlavac never came over to North America to play for the Isles. D.J. Smith was sent to Toronto in that Wendel Clark deal.

With only 34 games played from picks made by the Isles in 1995, it was the least impactful draft class of the decade.

1998 – ReDrafted

Total games played: 42
Biggest impact: Evgeny Korolev

With the ninth overall pick in the 1998 draft, the Islanders selected Mike Rupp. Rupp would go unsigned and would be eventually re-drafted by the Devils with the 76th overall pick in 2000.

To think, Nikolai Antropov and Alex Tanguay were drafted with the tenth overall and 12th overall pick that year. Both would play well over 700 NHL games.

1997 – More Trades

Total games played: 116
Biggest impact: Eric Brewer

The Isles had the fourth and fifth overall pick at the 1997 draft. They used those picks to take Roberto Luongo and Eric Brewer. Both would play over 1,000 games in the NHL over their careers, neither would top 100 games with the Islanders.

Luongo would go to Florida in the deal that sent Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha to the Isles and Eric Brewer would go to Edmonton in the Roman Hamrlik trade.

The 1997 draft class was yet another draft class used to bring in vets. Sure Mark Parrish and Roman Hamrlik were good players, but so were the guys they gave up. One, Luongo, could very well end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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