Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 22 for the New York Islanders in their history.
In the history of the New York Islanders, only four players have worn the number 22. The first to ever do it was Bob Cook, then Ron Smith and Vic Teal before we get to our winner who wore it after the three of them.
Between the three of them, they played a combined 67 games for the Islanders so there will be no honorable mention today. Instead, we will spend the entirety of the article talking about the best Islander of all-time, Mike Bossy.
In the 1977 NHL Draft, the Isles selected Mike Bossy 15th overall from Laval National. He was 21 years old at the time, a late bloomer, but he instantly made an impact for the Isles in year one.
Bossy had 91 points (53 goals, 38 assists) as a rookie which was good enough for the Calder Trophy and fourth for the Lady Byng. He also led the league in power-play goals with 25 on the regular season.
That was only the beginning, his sophomore season saw him put up a whopping 69 goals and 126 points. Bossy was a goal machine, and that would continue throughout his tenure with the Isles.
His best year came in 1981-1982 when he had a career-high 147 points (64 goals, 83 assists) to go along with the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 27 points including 17 goals in 19 games is pretty impressive, and Conn Smythe worthy for sure.
Over the course of his career, Bossy was excellent in the playoffs. Over 10 years and 129 playoff games he had 160 points (85 goals, 75 assists). Over the course of a full 82 season that’s a pace of 102 points and 54 goals.
Bossy last played in 1986-1987, as his career was cut short due to injuries. At age 30, he was done, but he is still considered one of the all-time greats with 573 goals which is good enough for 22nd all-time.
In 1991, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a four-time Stanley Cup Winner, three-time Lady Byng winner, eight-time all-star, with a Conn Smythe and Calder to go along with it.
What he was able to do in such a small amount of time is truly tremendous, and you could make a strong case for him being the best pure goal scorer of all-time. Without a doubt, Bossy is not only the best player to wear number 22 but the best player to ever put on an Islanders sweater.