Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 26
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 26 for the New York Islanders in their history.
In New York Islanders history, 13 players have worn the number 26 for the Isles. The first to ever do it was Dave Langevin who wore it from 1980-1985. Some other notables to wear it were Ruslan Fedotenko, Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek, Josh Ho-Sang, and most recently Oliver Wahlstrom.
For the honorable mention, we’ll go with Dave Langevin for today. Langevin was drafted by the New York Islanders in the seventh round of the 1974 NHL Draft. Instead of signing with the Islanders he decided to sign with the Edmonton Oilers who were at the time a member of the WHA.
When the Oilers joined the NHL in 1979, the Islanders reclaimed him as a former draft pick and he’d play six seasons with the Isles. Over that time he won four Stanley Cups and even finished 13th in Norris voting in 1981.
He didn’t put up a ton of points from the blue line but he was steady, finishing his 422 games with the Islanders with a +122 in the plus-minus department.
Our winner for today is Pat Flatley. Flatley was drafted by the Islanders 21st overall in 1982, and he would make his NHL debut during the 83-84 season playing in 16 regular-season games and putting up nine points over that span.
By the following season, he was a regular. In his first full year in the league, at age 21, he had 51 points and 20 goals to his name. Flatley would put up 50+ points four times in his career on Long Island.
Arguably his best season with the Isles came in the 1992-1993 season. That year, Flatley finished with a career-high 60 points (13 goals, 37 assists) and finished eighth in Selke voting. The following season he would finish 16th in Selke voting as well.
After the 1995-1996 season, Flatley signed a one-year deal to finish his career with the New York Rangers. In 13 seasons on Long Island, Flatley finished with 488 points. His performance was good enough for him to be the 12th player inducted into the Isles Hall of Fame in 2012.