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NYI TOP 10: DRAFT STEALS

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
While there has been much talk about the Islanders' fifth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, there hasn't been much discussion about the nine other picks the Islanders have in rounds 2-6 (2-2nd, 2-3rd, 1-4th, 2-5th, 2-6th). These selections can be just as crucial as the first round pick.


This edition of NYI Top 10 gives a rundown of the greatest Islanders draft steals from round two or later. Below are picks 6-10. Check back tomorrow for 1-5.


David Volek
10. DAVID VOLEK
Selected in the 10th round (208th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft

Czech winger David Volek scored one of the greatest goals in franchise history. Prior to his monumental goal during the 1993 playoffs, Volek had some success with the Islanders, eclipsing the 20-goal plateau in two of his first three seasons. But it was because of the 1993 playoffs that Volek's name will forever live in infamy with Pittsburgh Penguins fans. Having knocked off the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, the Islanders faced a daunting task in the Patrick Division Finals – the two-time Stanley Cup and Presidents' Trophy winning Penguins, led by Mario Lemieux. The Islanders forced a Game 7 with a 7-5 win at the Nassau Coliseum in Game 6, setting up a winner-take-all finale. The game headed into overtime, where at 5:16 of overtime, Ray Ferraro found Volek on a 2-on-1 for the game-winning tally. Volek would finish the 1993 playoffs with four goals and an assist. His career was cut short due to a herniated disk, but he is still 24th on the Islanders' all-time goals list with 95.


Rich Pilon
9. RICH PILON
Selected in the 7th round (173rd overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft

One of the fiercest defensemen in Islanders history, Rich Pilon spent 13 seasons with the Islanders. His 509 games with the Islanders are the sixth most by a defenseman and his 1,525 penalty minutes trail only Mick Vukota on the all-time Islanders' list. Pilon's season-high for penalty minutes came in 1997-98, when he accumulated 291. The Saskatchewan native participated in only one playoff year, but he was a key factor in helping the Islanders knock off the Penguins in 1993. His aggressive play, along with help from Darius Kasparaitis kept the talented Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr off their games all series long.


Marty McInnis
8. MARTY McINNIS
Selected in the 8th round (163rd overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft

Gritty Marty McInnis was a big surprise for the Islanders, considering how late he was drafted. After three years at Boston College, where he was a teammate of Bill Guerin, McInnis joined the Islanders three years after being drafted. A two-time 20-goal scorer for the Islanders, McInnis had his best year in 1993-94, when he compiled 25 goals and 31 assists for 56 points. He led the team with a +31 rating and tied for the team lead with five shorthanded goals. The 12-year NHL veteran finished his career with 170 goals and 250 assists for 420 points in 796 games.


Radek Martinek
7. RADEK MARTINEK
Selected in 8th round (228th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft

The quiet Czech defenseman has been a solid Islanders defensemen over the past five seasons. One of the most underrated defenseman in the NHL, Radek Martinek thrives on his exceptional skating ability and good puckhandling skills. One of his greatest examples of skill and determination came on February 20, 2008. With the Islanders on a five-game winning streak, they visited a hungry Alexander Ovechkin-led Capitals team pushing for a playoff spot. Without Brendan Witt in the lineup, Martinek, along with Freddy Meyer had the task of stopping Ovechkin. With Martinek on Ovechkin all game, the eventual Art Ross winner finished with no points, one shot and was -2. Martinek's line was as follows: 1 assist, +1, 28:17 TOI and 5 hits. After the game, when asked how it was matching up against Ovechkin, Martinek replied, "It wasn't easy."


Zigmund Palffy
6. ZIGMUND PALFFY
Selected in the 2nd round (26th overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft

Zigmund Palffy is one of only five players (minimum 100 games) to have produced at least a point per game throughout their Islanders career. Palffy played in 331 games with the Islanders and finished with 331 points, including 168 goals, which ranks 12th all-time. The speedy Slovak was the Islanders' superstar during the mid- to late-90s. For three consecutive seasons he recorded at least 40 goals and 80 points, reaching 90 in 1996-97. The right wing retired from the NHL during the 2005-06 season, finishing his career with 713 points in 684 games.
   

Check back tomorrow for players 1-5. All summer long catch NYI Top 10 lists on Newyorkislanders.com.

Click here for NYI DRAFT CENTRAL 2008 info.

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