Editorials

Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 15

By Matt O'Leary
Canadian hockey player John Davidson (left), goalkeeper for the New York Rangers, prepares to stop a shot by Billy Harris of the New York Islanders during a playoff game at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York, 1979. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
Canadian hockey player John Davidson (left), goalkeeper for the New York Rangers, prepares to stop a shot by Billy Harris of the New York Islanders during a playoff game at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York, 1979. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /
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Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 15 for the New York Islanders in their history.

Nine players have dressed with the number 15 on their back for the New York Islanders. The first to ever do it is our winner today, spoiler, so I’ll start by talking about some other notables to wear the number.

Brad Dalgarno, Brad Isbister, Jeff Tambellini, P.A. Parenteau, and most recently Cal Clutterbuck have worn the number 15. Trying to come up with an honorable mention for this one wasn’t easy but we’re going to go with  Brad Isbister.

Isbister spent four years with the Islanders in the early 2000s playing 247 games for the organization. Over that span, he had 135 points and 67 goals. His best year with the team was his first year in 1999-2000 when he had 42 points (22 goals, 20 assists).

That was the only year he went over 20 goals in his career or 40 points. He had two points in three career playoff games with the Islanders.

Without question, the best player to ever wear number 15 was Billy Harris. Harris was the first overall pick by the Islanders in the 1972 draft, their first-ever draft pick, and he made an immediate impact on the team.

In the 1972-1973 season, he came in third place for the Calder Trophy finishing the year with 50 points (28 goals, 22 assists). His first seven years in the league he had 50 points or more. The Islanders traded him in 1980 for Butch Goring.

While Harris wasn’t a part of the Islanders Stanley Cup teams, he was a phenomenal Islander and that trade helped put the team over the top.

In 623 games with the Isles, Harris had 443 points (184 goals, 259 assists) to his name. The best year of his career came in 1975-1976 when he had 70 points (32 goals, 38 assists).

Harris’ retired after the 1984 season and founded the Muskoka Candle Company in Ontario.

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