NHL Draft History: Last time the Islanders had these picks

Straight-forward post here. I find looks like this help keep realism in check on a hyper-nervous draft day. It is a different look than the one we did at the 1999 draft, when the Isles had four first-round picks in a rather weak pool.

I like to do this to remind myself how absolutely unpredictable the draft is (beyond the basic parameters we all know, such as Bettman will be booed, the Rangers will pick a bust, and Milbury will do say something, uh, "unconventional").

What follows is just, straight-up, for each of the Islanders' 2009 draft slots, what they did the last time they picked in (or near) the same slots on the board they have this year. I arbitrarily only went back to 1993, because at some point you have to admit scouting, management, and eras have changed. But by all means, add in your own or any infamous or obscure ones I overlooked.

1: 2000, Rick DiPietro, g. Yeah, you know the story there.

26: This is fun: Nothing at 26, but 22 (2002) was Sean Bergenheim, 28 (1999) was Kristian Kudroc (26 NHL games), and 29 (1996) was Dan LaCouture. Uh huh.

31: 1997, Jeff Zehr, LW. Four NHL games. {Sigh.}

37: The closest is Chris Nielsen, RW at 36 (1998, 52 NHL games) and Jason Holland, D, at 38 (1994, 81 NHL games with three different teams).

56: 1996, Zdeno Chara. Boo-yah, baby. The funny thing about the Hedman comparisons is Chara was a really awkward skater at this age -- and also not "mean."

62: 2007, Mark Katic. Still in the mix. (Incidentally, Jason Strudwick was at 63 in 1994, and Jesse Joensuu was at 60 in 2006).

91: Closest is Brad Lukowich at 90 (1994); not too shabby. But I should also note Frans Nielsen at 87 (2002), a budding gem.

92: Ready for this? Warren Luhning, RW (1993, 29 NHL games, funny name).

122: Two in the vicinity: Doug Rogers at 119 (2006), and Tommy Salo at 118 (1993). (For all of Salo's ups and downs in his NHL career, he was a brick wall when I created him in NHL 96.)

152: Another "vicinity" area: Steve Regier at 148 (2004), Marcus Paulsson at 149 (2002) and Kevin Clauson at 155 (1998). Should probably mention Jared Spurgeon at 156 in 2008, too.

182: The best sign of all: Bruno Gervais in 2003. But then there was Evgeny Korolev (1998, 42 NHL games), who the Isles had also picked two years earlier at 192 (1996). Oh yeah: Don't forget Justin DiBenedetto at 175 last year.

(Some of these names aren't linked because either my connection is wonky or the draft coverage is crushing half the hockey resource sites.)

This wasn't to bring up bad memories -- the Islanders have done okay (if rather inefficient) over the latter majority of this span, despite the mistakes we dwell on. This exercise just helps keep my expectations in check. Not too high, not too low.

When in Hour 6 tomorrow the talking heads talk about the "NHL-caliber work ethic" of the guy taken at 152, I'll know to take it with a grain of salt be outside, passed out on the lawn.

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