3. Pat LaFontaine
It’s fitting to have Pat LaFontaine and Pierre Turgeon one after the other here seeing as how they swapped jerseys (Buffalo to Islanders) in the same trade in 1991.
Before leaving for Buffalo, LaFontaine was an absolute goal-scoring machine for the Islanders. In 530 games he scored 566 points and 287 goals. His greatest season in an Islanders uniform came in 1989-90 when he scored a career-high 54 goals and end the year with 105 points. He’d finish fifth in Hart voting that season.
LaFontaine was supposed to be the link between the dynasty years and the next wave of success. Unfortunately, bad ownership effectively pushed him out of town.
4. Ziggy Palffy
If only he had quality around him. Palffy was a truly incredible player and put up incredible numbers on teams that had absolutely no quality what-so-ever.
It took a few years for him to not only get to the Island but to become the player we know now. Drafted in 1991, he didn’t hit the ice until the end of the 93-94 season. He didn’t hit his stride until 1995-96 when he scored 43 goals and 87 points in 81 games.
If you just consider the period from 1995 through to 1999 Palffy skated in 293 games scoring 314 points and 158 goals. That 0.539 goals-per-game pace doesn’t beat out Pat LaFontaine at 0.542 but it’s pretty close.
Just imagine what Palffy could have done with a bit more quality on his team?