Sons of Islanders

The recent waiving of Landon Ferraro by the Detroit Red Wings (and subsequent claiming by the Boston Bruins, and subsequent interviewing by his father and former Islander, Ray) got me thinking about just how many former Islanders have sons who are currently playing in various leagues — major, minor, and college — throughout North America and beyond. Here's a list of the sons*, by age, along with their Islander fathers:

Son of Pierre

Name: Dominic Turgeon
Age: 19
Position: Center
Father: Pierre Turgeon (NY Islander from 1991-92 through 1994-95)

In the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Dominic Turgeon was a 3rd-round pick (63rd overall) of the Detroit Red Wings. He was a WHL champion with the Portland Winterhawks in 2012-13, and was also a member of USA's bronze medal–winning World Hockey Challenge U17 team in the same season. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill provided constructive commentary after watching the young center at the Red Wings' rookie camp this summer:

"He's a guy who naturally wants to defend, naturally wants to play from the right side of the puck. He doesn't take a lot of chances offensively as a result. What's positive about that is it makes you a real good defensive player. The negative is you have to learn to take a few of those chances in order to become a better offensive player."

Son of 16

Name: Daniel LaFontaine
Age: 20
Position: Center
Father: Pat LaFontaine (NY Islander from 1983-84 through 1990-91)

Daniel LaFontaine is a born-and-raised Long Islander (Lloyd Harbor) who played two seasons with the Long Island Royals U16 team before moving on to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, and then, starting this year, Canisius College (NCAA Division I). Dad was in the stands to see Daniel score his first goal for the Golden Griffins in October. Watch a Canisius game and you'll see that the younger LaFontaine skates just like his dad.

Sons of Wood

Name: Miles Wood and Tyler Wood
Age: Miles (20), Tyler (21)
Position: Miles (Left Wing), Tyler (Defense)
Father: Randy Wood (NY Islander from 1986-87 through 1991-92)

Randy Wood played a smart, Ivy League–style game throughout his NHL career, and his sons are following suit. Miles Wood is a Freshman at Boston College (and was a 4th-round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2013), and Tyler Wood is a Junior at Brown University. Miles also has some WJC experience, playing on a 2014-15 squad with the likes of Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin.

Son of Tambo (Part I)

Name: Adam Tambellini
Age: 21
Position: Center
Father: Steve Tambellini (NY Islander from 1978-79 through 1980-81)

A Stanley Cup winner with the Islanders in the 1979-80 season, Steve Tambellini would be traded to the Colorado Rockies along with Glenn "Chico" Resch the following year.

Adam Tambellini, the younger of the two Tambellini brothers by 10 years, was drafted in the 3rd round (65th overall) by the New York Rangers in 2013. He played one season at the University of North Dakota (NCAA Division I), and after two seasons with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen, is currently playing with the Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolfpack. His numbers from the 2014-15 WHL season: 47-39–86 in 71 games played, while wearing an "A" on the jersey.

Son of the Penguin Slayer

Name: Dominik Volek
Age: 21
Position: Wing/Center
Father: David Volek (NY Islander from 1988-89 through 1993-94)

If you're an Islanders fan in your late-20s or older, you can likely picture where you were when David Volek's overtime, series-winning shot from the right circle zipped past Penguins goalie Tom Barrasso and into the net during the second round of the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His son, Dominik Volek, is an aspiring young player. He spent three seasons trying out the North American game in the WHL (2011-12 through 2013-14), and has since made the Czech League his home.

Son of Stumpy

Name: Christian Thomas
Age: 23
Position: Right Wing
Father: Steve Thomas (NY Islander from 1991-92 through 1994-95)

Steve Thomas wasn't a long-time Islander, but in three full seasons he put up 28, 37, and 42 goals for the club. For his career, he just missed the 1,000-point mark (421 G, 512 A, 933 points in 1,235 games played). Impressively, with all those points, he still made the 1,000-PIM club (1,306 career penalty minutes).

His son, Christian Thomas, was a 2nd-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2012 (40th overall), and after a small cup of coffee (one NHL game in 2012-13), was traded to the Montreal Canadiens. Last season he played 18 games with the big club, scoring his first NHL goal on a Steve Thomas-type wrist shot and adding 7 PIMs. He's currently with their AHL affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps.

Son of Chicken Parm

Name: Landon Ferraro
Age: 24
Position: Center
Father: Ray Ferraro (NY Islander from 1990-91 through 1994-95)

Landon Ferraro was a 2nd-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings (32nd overall) in 2009. He's seen some NHL action over the past two seasons. Upon a return from injury just last week, he was placed on waivers by the Wings, was scooped up by the Boston Bruins, and registered an assist in his first game with the new team.

The Wings valued what Landon brought to their team. The Bruins seem to recognize it, too. His dad is a member of the NHL's 1,000-game club, and the proud papa would love to see his son enjoy a long NHL career as well.

Question: If Bostonians don't pronounce their R's (think: "hahd and smaht"), how will they pronounce "Ferraro"?

Son of Duane

Name: Brody Sutter
Age: 24
Position: Center
Father: Duane Sutter (NY Islander from 1979-80 through 1986-87)

Brody Sutter was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2011 (193rd overall), and has been with the Charlotte Checkers, their AHL affiliate, since the 2011-12 season. He made his debut with the Hurricanes last year. This season Brody is back with the Checkers, and remains a solid prospect. At 6' 5" and 203 pounds, and with the toughness and hard-working style that's synonymous with the Sutter name, there's always potential for another trip up to the NHL.

Son of Brent

Name: Brandon Sutter
Age: 26
Position: Center
Father: Brent Sutter (NY Islander from 1981-82 through 1991-92)

So far the most successful of The Sutters 2.0, Brandon Sutter has already played in six full NHL seasons (with the Hurricanes, Penguins, and currently the Canucks). Like his cousin Brody, he was drafted by the Hurricanes (1st round, 11th overall in 2007). He's always ranked high in face-off win percentage, and along with his defensive expertise on the penalty kill, can also score shorthanded goals like this one, and this one. He recently tallied his 100th career goal, and is nearing the 100-assist mark, in just over 500 games played.

Note of interest: Like his son, Brent Sutter was also a 1st-round pick (17th overall, by the Islanders in 1980).

Son of Tambo (Part II)

Name: Jeff Tambellini
Age: 31
Position: Left Wing
Father: Steve Tambellini (NY Islander from 1978-79 through 1980-81)

Jeff Tambellini was a 1st-round draft pick (27th overall) of the Los Angeles Kings in 2003. He split time between the Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers from 2005-06 through 2009-10 (his best AHL season: 2007-08, where he went 38-38–76 in 57 games played). After an excellent showing for the Canucks in 2010-11 — see this terrific backcheck and this wrist-shot goal for examples — he spent a few professional seasons in Switzerland and Sweden before finding a home with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch this season (Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate).

Son of J.P.

Name: Zach Parise
Age: 31
Position: Left Wing
Father: Jean-Paul "J.P." Parise (NY Islander from 1974-75 through 1977-78)

If asked to choose the most successful father–son pair on this list, the answer for many would be J.P. and Zach Parise.

Although neither has hoisted the Stanley Cup (J.P. made it as far as the semifinals in 1967-68 and again 1974-75, and Zach has thus far reached the finals, in 2011-12), both have enjoyed tremendous individual careers at the wing.

J.P. was twice an All-Star in Minnesota, putting up a career high of 75 points in 78 games in the 1972-73 season. And to Islander fans, he’s adored and admired for his role in leading the Blue and Orange to their first playoff berth in 1974-75 (and defeating the Rangers with an unforgettable overtime goal). In a total of 890 NHL games with the Bruins, Maple Leafs, North Stars, and Islanders, he scored 238 goals and added 356 assists for 594 points.

Just like dad, Zach Parise has been a fan favorite throughout his career. The Minnesota native was a 1st-round pick of the New Jersey Devils (17th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Beginning in 2005, and for seven consecutive seasons, Islander fans had a close-up view of his offensive talents and his tenacity in puck battles along the boards. In 2008-09, Zach became a member of the 40-40 club (45G, 49A, 94 P in 82 GP) and was named an All-Star. Now in his 11th NHL season, and with the Minnesota Wild, he’s very close to reaching the 300-goal and 300-assist mark.

But perhaps most of all for father and son, there are the historic international competitions.

J.P. was a participant in the highly tense (and thoroughly documented) Summit Series in September of 1972, scoring two goals against the Soviets in six games played.

Zach has participated in numerous international competitions for team USA, most famously the 2010 Winter Olympics, where he scored the game-tying goal against team Canada in the gold-medal game.

He also had the primary assist on the amazing empty-net goal Ryan Kesler scored against team Canada in the preliminary round that year.

Son of Thor

Name: Eric Nystrom
Age: 32
Position: Left Wing
Father: Bob Nystrom (NY Islander from 1972-73 through 1985-86)

The veteran of the group, Eric Nystrom — born in Syosset, NY — was drafted in the first round (10th overall) by the Calgary Flames in 2002. He's played for the Flames, Wild, and Stars, and since 2013 has settled into a defensive role with the Nashville Predators, playing a solid, hard-working North/South game. And just like dad, he can do some of this. He's already more than halfway to the 1,000-game club (Bob played in 900), and if he stays healthy and remains in the league into his late-30s, he can hit that mark.

*This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you're aware of any Islanders progeny that I've overlooked, please leave their names, current teams, and information in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

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