New York Islanders Worst NHL Draft Day In History – Eyes on Isles

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In the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders had four first round picks on the board. The four picks they selected didn’t stay long and didn’t make an impact. A total bust. Here’s looking back.

It’s not often that an NHL team gets four first round picks and whiff on every single one of them. The New York Islanders did just that in 1999.

The 1998-99 New York Islanders finished with just 58 points. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning were worse with 47 points.

It was the fifth year in a row that the Islanders had missed the playoffs. A change was clearly needed. So Isles GM Mike Milbury traded away some of his valuable veteran players in order to refresh and rebuild from the draft.

He also needed to clear som salary. Thanks to then owners Milstein and Glukstein not wanting to spend enough to support a proper NHL squad. Instead, giving GM Milbury a meager budget to put a team together.

So out went team captain Trevor Linden, to the Canadiens, and fan favorite Zigmund Palffy, to the Kings, just ahead of the 1999 draft. Both fetched first round picks in that year’s draft.

Linden returned Montreal’s first round and eighth overall pick, Palffy returned the King’s tenth overall pick. The Isles already controlled the fifth overall pick, thanks to their terrible season. The last and fourth pick came on draft day with two second round picks going to Dallas for their 28th overall selection. So that makes four.

The Islanders chose: Tim Connolly (5) C, Taylor Pyatt (8) LW, Branislav Mezei (10) D, Kristian Kudroc (28).

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