Nick Jehamy | January 22nd, 2020
We have hit 2020 and with the turn of the new decade, we here at The Scorecrow are putting together our All-Decade teams for each franchise. So who made the All-Decade team for the New York Islanders? Let’s take a look.
The All-Decade team consists of a full team of skaters; four forward lines, three defensive lines, and two goaltenders. My criteria for choosing who made the team is a mixture of historical significance and statistical performance.
John Tavares, Center, 2009-2018
He may not be a favorite of Islanders fans since his departure to the Toronto Maple Leafs but Tavares is a staple of the Islanders franchise. Fifth in franchise assists and points scored, Tavares has been to four all-star games as well as placing in the top ten in the league in assists, goals, and points on numerous occasions. No player on this list is more deserving to be here than Tavares.
Anders Lee, Left Wing, 2012-Present
Left wing wasn’t the strongest of positions over the decade but standing at the top of the pact Lee has been an offensive spectacle for the Islanders. With three 50 point seasons Lee has placed top ten in the league in goals scored and shooting percentage on two different occasions. Since Tavares left Lee has been given the honor of captain and is helping lead this team to the top.
Josh Bailey, Right Wing, 2008-Present
Bailey has played more games than anyone for the Islanders this decade and is only second in points behind Tavares with 408 points over the decade. He had a slow start to his career but has now produced three straight 40+ assist and 50+ point seasons including a 71 point all-star season during 2017-2018.
Mathew Barzal, Center, 2017-Present
Debatable to place as high as the second line because of his short tenure with the franchise but Barzal has been a dominating force for the Islanders since his beginnings. In two and a half seasons played where he has not missed a single game, Barzal has racked up 187 points as well as two all-star appearances, all-rookie team, and winner of the 2018 Calder Memorial Trophy.
Matt Moulson, Left Wing, 2009-2014
Moulson played four seasons for the Islanders in which he also did not miss a single game. He ended his time with the Islanders averaging a shooting percentage of 14% and placing in the top ten in the league in power play goals twice. Moulson scored at least 30 goals in all three full seasons and was on pace for another 30 during the league’s shortened season. A staple to the Islanders front line during his time with the team.
Kyle Okposo, Right Wing, 2007-2016
Okposo wasn’t a stat stuffer but he was a strong leader and part of the team during the first half of the past decade. Okposo produced 325 points over 455 games throughout the decade. Bailey played multiple positions for the Islanders so in some people’s opinion, Okposo arguably can be in the running for the top overall spot for right winger of the decade for the franchise.
Brock Nelson, Center, 2013-Present
Nelson has played more than 70 games in all six seasons for the Islanders, five of those playing over 80 games. The decision between Nelson and Barzal was a tough one but I gave it to Barzal over the sheer numerical impact he has made. Nelson is no slouch as he has consistently produced at least 20 goals and 40 points in all but two seasons in which he was still very close, and is on pace this season to break all his offensive career high’s.
Michael Grabner, Left Wing, 2010-2015
Grabner was an asset to the Islanders depth, a skater who flew across the ice picking up the pace of the game with his plus speed. If it weren’t for injuries that plagued his time with the team he would most certainly be in contention to have been higher up on this list.
P.A. Parenteau, Right Wing, 2010-2012
He was only with the team for two seasons but those were two above average years for Parenteau where he was a key contributor to the Islanders offensively. Parenteau’s two seasons with the Islanders were the two best in his career both with 80+ games played and 50+ points which he has not done since.
Frans Nielsen, Center, 2006-2016
Through 516 games played this decade Nielsen was solid as the second line center behind Tavares. He wasn’t very special but was a good asset in his time with the franchise producing at least 12 goals and 23 assists each season throughout the decade.
Anthony Beauvillier, Left Wing, 2016-Present
Rounding up the left wing position is Beauvillier. On pace for a career best season, he is getting better and better each year and will be a bright asset to the Islanders future. In his short time with the team, he has produced 60 goals and 56 assists.
Jordan Eberle, Right Wing, 2017-Present
Eberle’s play is not what it was throughout the rest of the decade for the Oilers but it has been solid enough nonetheless to help him break the cutoff on this list. In two and a half seasons Eberle has produced 119 points for the Islanders.
Nick Leddy, 2014-Present
The highest scoring defender for the Islanders over the past decade with 200+ points, Leddy has been a staple to their defensive line over the latter half of the decade. Leddy is a magnificent facilitator of the puck and at holding down the blue line defensively, he was an easy choice here.
Travis Hamonic, 2010-2017
Nicknamed “Hammer”, Hamonic averaged 22 and a half minutes per game for the Islanders and never averaged less than 21 in a season. As long as he was healthy there was a good chance you’d see him there on the ice throughout the match holding down the defensive line.
Mark Streit, 2008-2013
Former captain of the Islanders, Streit would get some votes to be put up onto the first line but he just gets edged out here. His best season for the Islanders comes before the decade, but his short time with the team to start the decade will be a memorable one. Streit played in 212 games producing 24 goals and 99 assists during the decade.
Johnny Boychuk, 2014-Present
Boychuck has been a dominant defensive presence for the Islanders ever since his signing. He came over the same time as Leddy and the two have been an unmovable force for the team in there success. His average time on ice has dipped since he first came to the team but he is still a pivotal part of their recent successes defensively.
Thomas Hickey, 2012-Present*
This last line was tough to choose. Hickey gets the nod here as a fan favorite and longevity of play over the decade. He produced 115 points in 449 games and was solid in the playoffs for the Islanders.
Ryan Pulock, 2015-Present
Pulock takes our final spot, after back-to-back 30+ point seasons and vast improvements in blocks and hits Pulock has shown he is an all-around skater that can provide offensive assistance as well as play a strong defense.
Thomas Greiss, Starter 2015-Present
Jaroslav Halak, Backup, 2014-2018
One of the toughest goaltending decisions I have had to make while creating these all-decade teams so far. Both were great assets to the team and their times with the Islanders have overlapped. Together they were a great one-two punch. Greiss gets the edge here with the slight edge in the numbers.
Both played about the same number of games but Greiss has ten more wins than Halak. Greiss also has a better save percentage and goals-against average, both though by slim margins, 0.003 (.916 save percentage to Halak’s .913) and 0.03 (2.66 goals-against compared to Halak’s 2.69). In a majority of other statistics as well Greiss just barely edges out Halak, so on this team he will do the same.
Here are a few honorable mentions of players at each position group that just missed out on making the Islanders All-Decade team.
Evgeni Nabokov, Goaltender, 2011-2014
Casey Cizikas, Center, 2011-Present
Andrew MacDonald, Defenseman, 2008-2014
The Islanders had many great centers, so sadly Cizikas had to be left off the team even with his longevity over the decade. He was the closest of the three to break into the main squad. MacDonald was generally close as well, Nabakov though is just the next man up as his numbers were decent, even some just slightly better than one or the other of the two that made it, but he didn’t play in enough games or create a big enough impact to break into the discussion.
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