Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 18 for the New York Islanders in their history.
Since the New York Islanders‘ inception, 12 players have worn number 18 for the team. We’re going to skip over the first one to ever do it for now and loop back in a minute. First, let’s talk about some other notables to wear the number.
Marty McInnis, Jeff Hamilton, Mike Sillinger, Ryan Strome, and Anthony Beauvillier have worn the number for the Islanders. Of this crop, Marty McInnis gets the nod for the honorable mention today.
He was an eight-round pick for the Isles in 1988 and made his NHL debut three years later. His best year with the Islanders came in 1994 when he had 56 points (25 goals, 31 assists). In 337 games with the Isles over six seasons, he had 198 points (79 goals, 119 assists).
In 1997 he was traded in a package for Robert Reichel. McInnis was a good Islander, but our obvious choice for the best to wear number 18 is Ed Westfall.
Westfall is an original Islander and the first-ever captain for the team. After playing 11 years in Boston, Westfall came over to the Islanders in expansion and put up 46 points and 15 goals to go along with it.
His best year came in 1975-1976 when he had 56 points and 25 goals. The following season, he won the Masterton trophy. After seven years with the Isles, Westfall hung up the skates with 286 points in 493 games with the team.
Westfall remained with the Isles as a color commentator until 1998. In 2011, the Islanders held “Ed Westfall Night” in his honor and he and Jiggs McDonald called the second period of that game between the Islanders and Bruins (his two former teams).
While Westfall retired right before the Isles cup runs, he is one of the most important Islanders in their history and a big part of the team being so successful in the 1970s.