Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 33
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 33 for the New York Islanders in their history.
13 players have worn number 33 for the New York Islanders in their history. The first to ever do it was Neil Hawryliw during the 1984 season. Some other notables are Steve Knoroyd, Ken Belanger, Eric Cairns, and Christopher Gibson.
Of those names, we’ll use Steve Knoroyd for the honorable mention. In March of 1986, the Islanders decided to move John Tonelli to the Flames and in return, they received both Steve Knoroyd and Rich Kromm.
His best year with the Islanders was the 1986-1987 season when he played in 72 games and had 21 points from the blue line. He’d have one more full season, this time with 17 points before being traded in the 1988-1989 season.
The Isles flipped him and Bob Bassen for Marc Bergevin and Gary Nylund. He would finish his Isles career with 49 points (8 goals, 41 assists) over 169 games.
Our winner today, is Benoit Hogue. Hogue was acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Pat LaFontaine to Buffalo and yielded Pierre Turgeon. In his first year on Long Island, Hogue had 75 points in 72 games.
The following year, 92-93, Hogue again put up 75 points with 33 goals to his name. Hogue was excellent for the Isles in the playoffs that year putting up six goals and 12 points in 18 playoff games.
The following year, Hogue would have a career-high of 36 goals to go along with 69 points. That would be his last full season on the Island.
In April of 1995, the Isles moved Hogue to the Maple Leafs along with two picks for Eric Fichaud. The former first-round selection was a major flop in net for the Isles as he only started 75 games over three years and had a sub .900 save percentage.
In 258 games with the Isles over four years, Hogue would finish with 229 points (105 goals, 124 assists). Hogue would bounce around between Toronto, Dallas, Tampa, Arizona, Boston, and Washington before retiring after the 2001-2002 season.
In 863 career games over 15 years, Hogue would finish with 543 points (222 goals, 321 assists). He was only with the Isles for a short time, but he made a significant impact while he was here in the early 90s.