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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Travis Green #39 of the New York Islanders (Credit: Al Bello /Allsport)
Travis Green #39 of the New York Islanders (Credit: Al Bello /Allsport) /

1989 – What Could Have Been

Total games played: 682
Biggest impact: Travis Green

Selecting Dave Chyzowski with the second overall pick looks like a mistake in hindsight. The next three players selected played at least 941 NHL games. Dave played 126, with 118 for the Islanders. To be fair, Chyzowski had 104 points in 68 games in the WHL during his draft year.

In the tenth round, the Isles picked Russian defenseman Vladimir Malakhov. Malakhov would eventually play 712 NHL games and win a cup in 2000 with the Devils.

Current Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green was drafted in the second round. He’d play 388 games for the Isles of his 970 NHL games. He had his best years wearing blue and orange with a 70 point season in 1995-96.

1984 – Volek Save

Total games played: 738
Biggest impact: David Volek

Jeff Norton was a good pick up in the third round. The defenseman played 282 of his 799 NHL games with the Islanders before being traded to the San Jose Sharks.

Note: Norton was traded to the Sharks three different times. In 1993, 1998, and 2001.

But in the tenth round with the 208th pick, the Islanders took Czech David Volek. Volek would play his entire NHL career with the Islanders and score 95 goals. None more memorable than this one.

1986 – Not a Pilon

Total games played: 1109
Biggest impact: Rich Pilon

In the first three rounds, the Islanders pick some good players. With the 17th overall pick, they selected Tom Fitzgerald. He’d play 205 of his 1,097 NHL games with the Islanders. Dennis Vaske, selected in the second round, played 232 of his 235 NHL games for the Isles.

But the biggest impact on the Islanders goes to their second seventh-round pick; Rich Pilon. The defenseman spent most of his career with the Islanders playing 509 games with the Isles from 1988 to 1999.

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