The Five Worst First-Round Draft Picks in NY Islanders History

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One
2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Robert Nilsson (2003, 15th overall)

Robert Nilsson
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

This one is one of the more frustrating picks. In an absolutely stacked 2003 draft class, the Islanders picked Robert Nilsson with the 15th pick, the son of former NHLer, Kent Nilsson. Nilsson dominated the SHL breaking Markus Naslund’s record for most points as a 17 year old. Not only that, he represented Sweden in the World Juniors from 2003 through 2005.

As he transitioned to the big leagues, Nilsson only played 53 games with the Isles in the 05-06 season, with six goals and 14 assists. Ultimately, he was traded to Edmonton in the Ryan Smyth deal. Throughout his career, he had a rough time adjusting to the NHL style, going back and forth with the AHL. When looking at his numbers, he didn’t have a terrible career, with 118 points in 252 NHL games before moving to the KHL and the Swiss League. 

Notable players picked after:

  • Zach Parise
  • Ryan Getzlaf
  • Brent Burns
  • Ryan Kesler
  • Corey Perry