Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number three for the New York Islanders in their history.
For the second day in a row, we had a rather tough decision on our hands when choosing the best player to wear number three for the New York Islanders. In the Islanders’ history, 16 players have worn the number.
Some notables are Pat Price, Tomas Jonsson, Adam Pelech, and Travis Hamonic. Hamonic is our honorable mention today as he was with the team for seven years and one of the better Islanders over that span.
Hamonic was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft and two years later proved himself as a regular playing in 62 games in the NHL as a 20-year-old. Over seven years with the Islanders he would average 22:39 of ice time per night and was considered a very solid top-four right-handed defenseman during that time.
His best season came in 2014-2015 when he had 33 points (5 goals, 28 assists) in 71 games. Unfortunately, due to family issues, Hamonic politely asked to be moved and during the 2017 draft, he was traded for multiple high-end draft picks.
Hamonic as good as he was on the ice might be remembered more so for what he did off the ice. He hosted kids who recently lost parents, like he did as a child, and went out of his way for each and every one of those kids. He was a fan favorite and for good reason.
With all of that said on Hamonic, he loses out in a very close battle of the best to wear the number three. The W goes to Adrian Aucoin who was with the Isles for three seasons between 2001-2004.
In his first year with the club, he had 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) and finished eighth overall in the Norris Trophy voting. That was also the year the Islanders made the playoffs for the first time since the 1994 season.
Aucoin followed that up with a 35 point season (averaging over 29 minutes of ice time per night) and then saved his best performance for his final year where he had 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists) and finished fifth in the Norris Voting.
Aucoin had 113 points in 235 career games with the Islanders and averaged a whopping 28:09 of ice time per night over that span. With two top-10 finishes in the Norris Trophy race, you’d have to give him a slight edge over Hamonic even though Hamonic was here for four more seasons.
Aucoin would go on to play eight more years in the NHL after leaving the Islanders and finished his 18 year NHL career with 399 points and over 1,100 games in the league.