Islanders Best Player To Wear Number 50
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 50 for the New York Islanders in their history.
In the New York Islanders history, two players have worn the number 50 during their time with the team. The first one to ever do it was Scott Scissions. Scissions was the sixth overall pick for the Isles in the 1990 NHL Draft.
He was coming off a huge season in the WHL putting up 40 goals and 87 points with the Saskatoon Blades. The Isles were hoping to land a stud but unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the Isles.
He played just two games in the NHL, one in 1991 and one in the 1994 season. Scissions was playing with the Canadian National Hockey Team and injured his shoulder in a check by John LeClair.
Scissons, unfortunately, had to retire at the age of 22 as he couldn’t get cleared medically after that. The other, and our presumed winner, is Adam Pelech.
In the 2012 draft, the Isles did something very bizarre. With each of their draft selections, they decided to take defensemen. Pelech was selected by the team in the third round, 65th overall that year.
After two more years in the OHL after being drafted, Pelech switched to Bridgeport for 2014-2015. He played in 65 games for the team putting up 11 points. He played nine games in the NHL the following season and 27 in the A, splitting time between both leagues.
The same would happen the following year in 2016-2017 with 44 games in the NHL and 13 in the AHL. He wouldn’t return back to the AHL after that season. Before the 2017 season, Pelech received a controversial contract.
After just 53 games in the NHL, he signed a four year $6.4 million ($1.6 million AAV) deal. The deal came out of nowhere, and it was certainly a headscratcher at the time. Now, going on three years after it was signed it was a genius move.
2017-2018 was the last year that Pelech wore number 50 with the Isles and his first year in a regular role. He was a solid third-pairing guy who put up 19 points in 78 games averaging 19:16 per night.
Fast forward to the present day and he’s arguably the most important defenseman not named Ryan Pulock. Yes, he became the player that we know today, a lockdown top-pair defender as number three, but his start will always be as number 50.