12 Drafts, 4 GMs and 20 Years

It's always tough breaking down how GMs did, especially from different periods of time. Today you not only have youtube and much larger media coverage of prospects, but there are fans dedicated to following the ups and downs of youngsters year round. We're beginning this trek in 1990 when there were only 21 teams in the league. That would be like giving whoever holds the first overall pick today the 22nd pick too. It means in 1990 Chris Simon would have been a first rounder today, while Doug Weight and Geoff Sanderson would have still been picked in the 2nd round.

We are going to be covering the last 3 drafts by Bill Torrey, the only 3 drafts by Don Maloney, the last 3 drafts by Mike Milbury and the first 3 (including 2006) drafts by Garth Snow. I'm including 2006 because as Milbury proved, you can have all the talent in the world in your prospect system, if you can't develop youngsters right it doesn't matter. Since the draft has changed length over the years, we will only be going through the 7th round.

What we are going to be looking at is games played, games played for the Islanders and when they left the Islanders. We'll total that up and see how the GMs compare. If you are drafting talented youngsters, then they should be playing some games for other teams beyond your own.

Bill Torrey
1990 Draft

6th Overall Scott Scissons: 2 NHL games both for the Islanders. Bust Left after 93-94
27th Overall Chris Taylor:  22 Games for the Islanders, 127 NHL games for others. Left after 97-98
48th Overall Dan Plante: 159 Games all for the Islanders Left after 97-98
90th Overall Chris Marinucci: 12 Games for the Islanders, 1 NHL game for the Kings. Traded in Dec 96

Rest of the Draftees never made the NHL.

Totals: 195 games for the Islanders, 128 games for other teams

1991 Draft

4th Overall: Scott Lachance: 450 games for the Islanders, 369 games for Others Traded in 1999
26th Overall: Zigmund Palffy: 358 games for the Islanders, 326 games for Others Traded in 1999
48th Overall: Jamie McLennan 56 games for the Islanders, 198 games for Others Not Resigned after 95-96
70th Overall: Milan Hnilicka: Incomplete. Played a handful of games in the minors for the Islanders. Returned to the Czech League in 96-97 and then was signed as a Free Agent by the Rangers in late 1999, 8 years after he was drafted.
92nd Overall: Steve Junker: 5 games all for the Islanders. Left after 94-95
114th Overall: Rob Valicevic: 193 games, none with the Islanders. Don't think he was signed after graduating.
136th Overall: Andreas Johansson: 18 games for the Islanders, 361 games for Others Traded in 1996

Rest of the Draftees never made the NHL

Totals: 887 games for the Islanders, 1447 games for other teams

1992 Draft

5th Overall: Darius Kasparaitis: 232 games for the Islanders, 631 for Others Traded in 1996
56th Overall: Jarrett Deuling: 15 games for the Islanders, left after 96-97
104th Overall: Tomas Klimt: Never left Europe
105th Overall: Ryan Duthie: Re-Entered 94 draft, never made NHL
128th Overall: Derek Armstrong: 70 games for the Islanders, 407 for Others Left after 96-97
Later Draftees Jason Widmer and Andrei Vasilyev combined to play 23 games for the Islanders

Totals: 340 games for the Islanders, 1038 for other teams

Bill Torrey Total: 1422 games for the Islanders, 2613 for other teams

Don Maloney
1993 Draft

23rd Overall: Todd Bertuzzi: 192 games for the Islanders, 830 games for others Traded in 1998
40th Overall: Bryan McCabe: 220 games for the Islanders, 915 games for others Traded in 1998
66th Overall: Vladimir Chebaturkin: 27 games for the Islanders, 35 games for others Left after 99-00
92nd Overall: Warren Luhning: 19 games for the Islanders, 10 games for the Stars Left after 98-99
118th Overall: Tommy Salo: 187 games for the Islanders, 339 games for others Traded in 1999
144th Overall: Peter Leboutillier: Re-Entered 1995 draft, 35 NHL games for the Ducks
170th Overall: Darren Van Impe: Not signed by the Islanders, later traded to the Isles. Played 14 games for the Islanders and 397 games for Others

Rest Of The Draftees didn't make the NHL

Totals: 659 Games for the Islanders, 2178 games for Others

1994 Draft

9th Overall: Brett Lindros: 51 games for the Islanders, Retired after 95-96. Bust
38th Overall: Jason Holland: 12 games for the Islanders, 69 games for others Traded in 1998
63rd Overall: Jason Strudwick: 18 games for the Islanders, 656 games for others Traded in 1998
90th Overall: Brad Lukowich: traded before playing a game for the Islanders in 96, was later signed as an FA by the Islanders. 57 Games for the Islanders, 601 games for others.

None of the remaining Draftees made the NHL except for 11th round pick Dick Tarnstrom. He finally made it to America in 01-02, played 62 games for the Islanders and then was claimed off Waivers by the Pens in 02. Played 244 games over the rest of his career.

Totals: 200 games for the Islanders, 1570 games for Others

1995 Draft

1st Overall: Bryan Berard (since they traded Berard for Redden) 242 Games for the Islanders, 377 for others Traded in 1999
28th Overall: Jan Hlavac: traded in 98 before he came over from Europe. 436 games for others.
41st Overall: D.J. Smith: No games for the Islanders, 45 for others Traded in 96
106th Overall: Vladimir Orszagh: 34 games for the Islanders, 255 for others Left after 99-00

None of the remaining draftees made the NHL

Totals: 276 games for the Islanders, 1140 games for others

Don Maloney Totals: 1135 games for the Islanders, 4888 games for others

Mike Milbury
2003 Draft

15th Overall: Robert Nilsson: 53 games for the Islanders 199 games for others Traded in 2007 Bust
58th Overall: Jeremy Colliton: 57 games for the Islanders
182nd Overall: Bruno Gervais: 331 games for the Islanders

It should be noted that with 3 2nd round picks, only Colliton made it to the NHL. No other draftees have made it to the NHL

Totals: 441 games for the Islanders, 199 games for others.

2004 Draft

16th Overall: Petteri Nokelainen: 15 games for the Islanders, 174 games for others Traded in 2007 Bust
47th Overall: Blake Comeau: 245 games for the Islanders
115th Overall: Wes O'Neil: Not signed out of college, played 5 games for the Avalanche
148th Overall: Steven Reiger: 18 games for the Islanders, 8 games for the Blues Left after 07-08
227th Overall: Chris Campoli: 228 games for the Islanders, 169 games for others Traded in 2009

No other draftees made the NHL

Totals: 506 games for the Islanders, 356 games for others

2005 Draft

15th Overall: Ryan O'Marra: 24 games for the Oilers, Traded in 2007 Bust
46th Overall: Dustin Kohn: 22 games for the Islanders
144th Overall: Masi Marjamaki: 1 game for the Islanders Left after 06-07

No other draftees made the NHL

Totals: 23 games for the Islanders, 24 games for others

Mike Milbury Totals: 970 games for the Islanders, 579 games for others

Garth Snow

2006 Draft

7th Overall: Kyle Okposo: 192 games for the Islanders
60th Overall: Jesse Joensuu: 60 games for the Islanders
100th Overall: Rhett Rakhashani: 2 games for the Islanders
126th Overall: Shane Sims: 1 game for the Islanders
160th Overall: Andrew MacDonald: 109 games for the Islanders

No Other Draftees have made the NHL yet

Totals: 363 games for the Islanders

2007 Draft

62nd Overall: Mark Katic: 11 games for the Islanders

No Other Draftees have made the NHL yet

Totals: 11 games for the Islanders

2008 Draft

9th Overall: Josh Bailey: 211 games for the Islanders
53rd Overall: Travis Hamonic: 62 games for the Islanders
126th Overall: Kevin Poulin: 10 games for the Islanders
148th Overall: Matt Martin: 73 games for the Islanders
156th Overall: Jared Spurgeon: Unsigned out of College, 53 games for the Wild
175th Overall: Justin DiBenedetto: 8 games for the Islanders

Totals: 364 games for the Islanders, 53 games for others

Garth Snow Totals: 738 games for the Islanders, 53 games for others

Torrey 1422 2613 4035
Maloney 1135 4888 6023
Milbury 970 579 1549
Snow 738 53 791

 

Obviously this is somewhat unfair to Garth Snow, since there are still a lot of youngsters in the Islanders system that were drafted by him. Even so, the fact Snow's 3 drafts nearly as many games played by Islanders draftees for the Islanders as Milbury's 3 drafts shows just how bad Milbuey was drafting at the end. You can also see that Maloney left the Islanders system in good shape by the fact that he averaged 1,629 games played for other teams over his three drafts.

Snow is also halfway to matching Torrey's last three drafts already. With players like Kyle Okposo, Andrew MacDonald, Josh Bailey, and Travis Hamonic looking like they are long term pieces this number will only go up. Snow is also halfway from the total amount of games played by Milbury draftees.

Don Maloney gets a lot of heat, and while trading up to get Brett Lindros wasn't the brightest idea, he did have a rather good three drafts during his stay on the Island. At the same time if you look at the New York Rangers, a lot of draftees from Maloney's time are a big part of the reason the team is a playoff contender. The Coyotes meanwhile already have an NHL regular on the team from the 07, 08 and 09 drafts.

The Islanders might finally have a GM who can not only develop youngsters, but can dig through other teams trash and find treasure. The combination of both makes sure that the youngsters aren't just thrown to the wolves. As we've seen with both Calvin De Haan and Nino Niederreiter spend more time in the Juniors getting their game up to snuff instead of being forced to learn on the fly in the NHL. Let's hope this trend continues and the Islanders will be a power.

Post loosely inspired by this breakdown of all Milbury draft selections from the 3rd round on.

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