For the third week in a row, Lighthouse Lookback catches up with a Lighthouse Hockey Islander of the Day. Like I said last week, this was not planned, I promise you.
Mike Watt was selected 32nd overall in by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1994 NHL Draft. The Canadian forward, alongside former Islanders Jason Podollan and Jason Holland, were members of the 1996 World Junior Championship team. When Watt got the call to the NHL, he was playing on a line with future former Islanders Ryan Smyth and Doug Weight. Watt played 14 games with the Oilers scoring one goal.
Islanders general manager at the time was of course Mike Milbury. During his reign of terror, the GM went through plenty of goaltenders, Eric Fichaud was one of them. The “goaltender of the future”, who drafted 16th overall by Toronto in that same draft was shipped to Edmonton for Watt.
The 6-foot two-inch forward played 75 games his first season on the Island, registering 25 points.
The 1999-00 season proved difficult for Watt, as injuries and a demotion to the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters marred his season. He had just five goals in 45 games with the Islanders. Unfortunately, Milbury gave up on the young forward, waiving him following the season. Watt landed in Nashville and played 18 games under Barry Trotz in 2000-01. He finished his NHL career playing in five game with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002-03. Watt headed to Europe and eventually retired following a stint in the IHL.
Watt has gotten into coaching now. Following the recording of our interview, he shared a great story about coaching against New York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller, who unfortunately was subject to a recent racial harassment online during a Zoom Q&A.