Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 13
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 13 for the New York Islanders in their history.
Only five players have worn the number 13 for the New York Islanders. The first to ever do it was Claude Lapointe from 1997-2003. You also have Bill Guerin, Rob Schremp, and Colin McDonald as other notables.
Out of that bunch, for the honorable mention, we will go with Claude Lapointe. In 1996-1997, his first year with the Islanders, he wore number 48. For the six years after that though, he would switch to number 13.
His best year with the Islanders came in 1998-1999 when he had 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists). Over seven years with the team, he played in 535 games with 171 points (76 goals, 95 assists).
The best player to wear number 13, was an obvious choice, and he’s even still wearing the number for the team, it’s Mathew Barzal. Barzal was drafted by the Islanders 17th overall in the 2015 draft class, thanks again Boston for passing on him three times.
He would make his NHL debut in 2016, just two games, before being sent back to Juniors after being deemed not ready by Jack Capuano. His first full year in the league, in 2017-2018, he had a season to remember.
85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) and the Calder Trophy. He found a home with the Islanders playing alongside Anthony Beauvillier and Jordan Eberle on the second line and was a part of one of the better offensive Islander teams that we’ve seen in recent memory.
He would follow that up with just 62 points in the first year of the Barry Trotz system, a notable step back from his rookie year. To be fair, nobody really put up good offensive numbers that year outside of Brock Nelson.
Before this season came to a close, Barzal had 60 points in 68 games, a pace of 72 points over a full season. While still not quite a point per game, it’s a significant improvement from what we saw last year.
In 234 career games with the Islanders, Barzy has 207 points, two all-star games, and a Calder Trophy to his name. He’s the face of the franchise right now with a bright future. Hopefully, when his career is all said and done he’ll be the last player to wear number 13 for the Islanders.