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Editorials

Islanders: Best and worst draft classes of the 1980s

Alternate Governor Bill Torrey (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Alternate Governor Bill Torrey (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
1998 NHL Entry Draft. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport

1987 – Ain’t so Bad

Total games played: 268
Biggest impact: Dean Chynoweth

For the 90s drafts, I split up the results into the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I can’t do that for the 80s. The drafts in the 80s, even the not so great ones, weren’t that bad in comparison.

Consider this. With 268 games played from four picks, the 1987 draft had a better return for the Islanders than five of the ten drafts in the 90s. Five.

Dean Chynoweth, the Isles first-round pick that year played 147 games played between 1988 and 1995 had the largest impact on the club. He’d be traded in ’95 to the Bruins for a fifth-rounder.

1988 – Eighth Round Win

Total games played: 345
Biggest impact: Marty McInnis

Marty McInnis has the biggest impact on this draft with 337 games played. He was drafted in the eighth round. Unfortunately, the Isles first-rounder (16th overall) Kevin Cheveldayoff sustained a knee injury and would never hit the NHL.

That name should sound familiar. Cheveldayoff is the Winnipeg Jets current GM.

1981 – A Few Good Picks

Total games played: 536
Biggest impact: Paul Boutilier

The Islanders pulled four NHL caliber players with their first four picks. Paul Boutilier selected 21st overall in the first round, had the largest impact for the Isles with 213 games played. He hoisted the cup as part of the 1983 team.

This draft wasn’t great for stocking the team with talent. But the Islanders had just finished as the top team in the regular season and had just won their second Stanley Cup. I don’t think they were too upset about it.

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