In seven days from now, the New York Islanders will have to submit a list to the Seattle Kracken of players they plan on protecting. Nine times in the Islanders’ history, they’ve participated in Expansion Drafts, dating back to 1974.
What I wanted to do was look at every player that they’ve lost in expansion and see if there’s a trend in either the position or the caliber of player they tend to lose.
Here’s a list of every player they lost in expansion:
1974: Bryan Lefley & Bill Mikkelson
In 1974, the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals joined the league. For KC, it was defenseman Bryan Lefley that drew their eye. He played just 70 games over two years from the Isles and only spent the one season with Kansas City playing in 29 games.
Lefley had 10 points with the Islanders (3 goals, 7 assists) in that span. His best year in the NHL came in 1978 with Colorado.
As for Bill Mikkelson, he was another defender that only played a short time with the Isles. In fact, he played just 72 games for New York putting up 11 points in the lone 1972-1973 season. In 1974-1975 Mikkelson was a -82 in 59 games.
1979: Pat Price & Gerry Hart
More defensemen! This time the Isles lost a pretty solid defender in Pat Price to Edmonton. He was the 11th overall pick by the Isles in the 1975 draft and he played four years with the team before going to Edmonton.
His stop in Edmonton was brief but he lasted in the league until 1987-1988 playing for six different teams.
Hart was selected by Quebec after seven years with the Islanders. His et year was in 1978 where he finished with 27 points. When he was drafted he was a tad on the older side at 32 and would play four more years in the league.
1991: Jeff Hackett
Hackett was a second-round pick for the Islanders in 1987. He played just 40 games over two years before being selected by San Jose. His time with the Sharks was short-lived as he’d go on to spend 11 years after that with Chicago and Montreal.
He finished his 15-year career with a .902 save percentage and a 2.90 goals against average.
1992: Joe Reekie and Rob DiMaio
Reekie spent just three years on Long Island after originally getting his start with Buffalo. He was solid on the blue line, and Tampa Bay scooped him up with their Expansion Selection. He lasted just a year and a half with Tampa before finding a more permanent home in Washington where he lasted nine seasons.
As for DiMaio, he was a winger that really didn’t have much of a role with the Islanders. He played sporadically over four seasons before having what ended up being a 17 year NHL career. His best years came as a member of the Boston Bruins in the late 90’s.
1993: Glenn Healy and Tom Fitzgerald
The Islanders lost their starting goalie from the year prior to the Mighty Ducks in expansion. He ended up never playing a game for them, as he’d play the 1993 season with the Rangers instead. He was a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup Rangers team.
After five seasons in a depth role for the Islanders, Fitzgerald was selected by Florida. His best year with Florida came in 2996 when he had 34 points and finished ninth in Selke voting. He’d end up playing 1,097 games in his 17-year career and had 329 points as a right wing.
1998: J.J. Daigneault
Daigneault played a 16-year career playing on 10 different teams. He played just 18 games as a member of the Islanders in 1997-1998 before being selected by Nashville in expansion where he spent 35 games.
1999: David Harlock
The Islanders lost Harlock to the Thrashers in 1999. He played just 14 games in his career before finding his way to the 1998-1999 Islanders team. He played 70 games putting up eight points that season for New York. He’d play 128 games over three years in Atlanta before calling it a career.
2000: Ian Herbers & Ted Drury
Another defenseman! Herbers played a whopping six games with the Islanders in 1999-2000 before being selected by the Minnesota Wild. He did not play a single game for them at the NHL level.
As for Ted Drury, he was a center that Columbus picked up in the draft. Drury played 55 games as an Islander during 1999-2000 and would go on to play just one game as a member of the Blue Jackets in 2000-2001.
2017: JF Berube
Berube played just 21 games as an Islander, and for some reason Garth Snow decided not to waive him all 2016-2017, just so that they could get Vegas to select him. The Islanders traded a first round pick in 2017, a second round pick in 2019, Mikhail Grabovski, and Jake Bischoff so the Golden Knights would take Berube.
Berube would never play a game for Vegas.
Realistically, the only major loss for the Isles in expansion was Glenn Healy. Sure, other guys had nice careers as depth pieces but it was never like they were losing an impact player.
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This year, the three most likely losses in expansion are Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle, and Kieffer Bellows. For the first time in a long time, it looks like the Isles will lose an impact piece unless they pull a 2017-like side deal.