Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number seven for the New York Islanders in their history.
Since the New York Islanders‘ inception, 15 players wore the number seven for the franchise. The first to ever do so was Germain Gagnon in 1973-1974. Some other notables to wear the number include Greg Gilbert, Scott Lachance, Trent Hunter, and Jordan Eberle.
Our honorable mention today will be Trent Hunter. Hunter wore the number with the Islanders from 2002-2011. In 459 games he had 229 points (99 goals, 130 assists) with the Isles. His best season was his rookie year back in 2003-2004 when he finished with a career-high 51 points and 25 goals. He finished third in Calder voting that year.
Hunter was a steady Islander through some rough years. He was someone you could pencil in for 30-40 points and some good depth scoring.
While Hunter was a good Islander, the best to ever put on that number was Stefan Persson. Persson was drafted by the Islanders in the 14th round of the 1974 draft class. He made his NHL debut three years later, and had himself a stellar rookie season.
The defenseman put up 56 points (6 goals, 50 assists) in 66 games. His best year was his sophomore season when he had 66 points and finished 10th in Norris Trophy voting.
Persson would finish top-15 in Norris voting twice in his nine-year career with the Islanders. While defensemen like Denis Potvin get more of the recognition, Persson was a steady force on that blue line during the cup era.
He was a part of each of the Cup-winning teams, commenting himself as an Islander legend. He played 622 career games with 369 points to his name (52 goals, 317 assists).
In 1986, the Islanders decided to trade Persson to Winnipeg. The story goes that he was so distraught, that the 31-year-old decided to retire from the league instead of reporting to the Jets.
To say Persson enjoyed his time with the Islanders would be an understatement. He’s widely considered one of the most underrated Islanders of all-time.