If all goes according to plan for the Islanders, Josh Bailey will play his 400th regular season game in an Isles uniform before the 2013-14 season ends next month. And if Kyle Okposo continues to gut it out for the final 10 games this season, he too will hit the 400 games played mark.
Doing so will make Bailey and Okposo only the 16th and 17th forwards to ever be drafted by the Islanders and play 400 games with the club. Frans Nielsen accomplished the feat earlier this season.
The Islanders have drafted 456 players in their history, and of them, only 15 forwards have since played 400 games with the team that drafted them. That fact alone puts Bailey and Okposo in some exclusive company.
Here are those 15 forwards (along with Bailey and Okposo), with a few notes on how they performed during their Islanders career and draft position:
Age At First
Straight to NHL
The list includes four Hockey Hall of Fame inductees as well as a handful more Islanders Hall of Famers. The group also includes just three players drafted after 1985, and that's only if Bailey and Okposo find their way into it by season's end.
It's interesting to note that all but one of these players joined the Islanders before their 22nd birthday, with the lone geezer being Frans Nielsen (22). So in other words, ALL THESE GUYS WERE RUSHED!
There may be conclusions to be made from looking at this list, or as to why the list is so few in number. But at least today, I am not here to make conclusions. I'm here to congratulate Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo for making it to a milestone that very few drafted Islanders forwards have reached.
Enjoy it, boys. Because making it to 500 is an even tougher task.