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Building a Winner Through the Draft

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Garth Snow
Even in an era of free agency and the salary cap, Islanders GM Garth Snow understands the importance of the NHL Entry Draft. Last month at the first Islanders Open House at the Nassau Coliseum, Snow announced his plans for building a successful Islanders team. One piece of that plan was to draft wisely.

Snow doesn't have to look too far in order to see how much success drafting wisely can bring to an organization. In fact, he need only delve into the Islanders record books on his shelf to see how big of a role – what was then called – the Amateur Draft played in the Islanders capturing their four Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s.
"The Architect," Bill Torrey was named the Islanders' first general manager on February 14, 1972 and what a choice that was. Torrey was the mastermind behind the Islanders' four championships and the NHL Entry Draft was the primary source from which he selected his talent.
Of the 17 players on all four Stanley Cup-winning teams, 11 were Islanders draft picks, including NHL Hall of Famers Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy. An additional 11 Islanders draft picks won at least one Stanley Cup with the Islanders.
Bill Torrey, the architect behind the Islanders' four Stanley Cups
While not all draft picks may stay with the team to earn a championship, some still help lead to championships. Take for example Billy Harris, the Islanders' first overall draft selection in 1972 – the franchise's first season. He, along with the Islanders third round pick in 1973, Dave Lewis, was traded to Los Angeles during the 1979-80 season for Butch Goring, who many argue was the final piece to the championship puzzle.
The construction of an NHL team has changed since the 1970s and 80s, but the Entry Draft is still a key component to building a winning team. The Islanders' dynasty in the 1980s is a clear example.

Below is the list of players who were drafted by and won a Stanley Cup with the Islanders.

1972 Lorne Henning 17 4
1972 Bob Nystrom 33 4
1972 Gary Howatt 144 2
1973 Denis Potvin 1 4
1973 Bob Lorimer 129 2
1974 Clark Gillies 4 4
1974 Bryan Trottier 22 4
1974 Dave Langevin 112 4
1974 Stefan Persson 214 4
1976 Alex McKendry 17 1
1976 Ken Morrow 68 4
1977 Mike Bossy 17 4
1977 John Tonelli 33 4
1977 Hector Marini 50 2
1978 Steve Tambellini 15 1
1979 Duane Sutter 17 4
1979 Tomas Jonsson 25 2
1979 Bill Carroll 38 2
1979 Roland Melanson 59 3
1980 Brent Sutter 17 2
1980 Greg Gilbert 80 2
1981 Paul Boutilier 21 1

Take part in the next chapter of the Islanders’ draft history on Friday June 20 at the Islanders’ draft party at the Nassau Coliseum. Also, visit the Nassau Coliseum this Wednesday at 6:30 pm to hear more from GM Garth Snow on his plans for this year’s draft at the Islanders Open House.

Click here to check out the latest Islanders draft news leading up to the Friday, June 20 NHL Entry Draft  - ISLANDERS DRAFT CENTRAL 2008

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