Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 63
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 63 for the New York Islanders in their history.
Since the New York Islanders‘ inception, only two players have worn the number 63. For the most part, the 60’s aren’t often used in the NHL so it’s going to get a little slim this week when we talk about these guys.
The first player to ever wear the number was Cole Jarrett in 2006. Cole played just one game in his NHL career and it came with the Isles while wearing number 63. He didn’t register a point but he finished as a +1 in his 13:48 of ice time.
Jarret was drafted by Columbus in 2001, but never signed with them. The Isles signed him before the 2003 season. He was fairly productive in his three years in Bridgeport putting up 16, 20, and 23 points from the blue line.
After the 2005-2006 season, he’d leave North America to go play in Europe through the 2009 season.
The only other player to wear the number with the Isles is Josef Vasicek. He wore the number for the Isles in the 2007-2008 season and was pretty solid for them in his lone season with the team.
In 81 games he put up 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 15:51 of ice time per night. After the 2008 season, Vasicek decided to leave the NHL and go play in Russia, in the KHL. The 2010-2011 season, was a dominant year for Vasicek. In 54 games played he had 55 points and 24 goals for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
On September 7, 2011, an unspeakable tragedy happened to the team. The team took a charter flight to Minsk to start the 2011-2012 season. There was an issue during takeoff and the plane ended up crashing killing all but one person on the flight.
Vasicek, along with 25 of his teammates perished that day. The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash is widely considered one of the biggest tragedies in sports.
Vasicek will be our winner today. Yes, he only spent one year on the Island but he was a solid role player on that 2007-2008 season on an otherwise poor Islanders team.