There have been 389 players in NHL history that have played in only one regular-season or postseason game, 15 of which took the ice for the New York Islanders franchise. In those games, the Islanders managed to go 5-7-1-2 but had one of those games be a playoff game.
Let’s take a look at those 15 players and what kind of impact they made in their lone appearance and what they did following their time with New York.
Victor Teal (1974)
In the early years of the Islanders, they had a player named Victor Teal who got into one game in his NHL career after signing as a free agent in 1973. It came in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings as the Ontario Native finished a minus-one. Ironically enough, Teal has an older brother named Skip, who also played in one NHL game. That came in the 1954-55 season with the Boson Bruins in a 2-2 tie against the Montreal Canadiens.
Dave Salvian (1977)
Similar to current Islander Brock Nelson, Dave Salvian made his NHL debut in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Islanders faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1977 preliminary round. Salvian was active for Game 2 and had the primary assist on Jude Drouin’s game-tying goal at 13:56 of the first period.
The Islanders went on to win 2-1 and advance to the quarterfinals and defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in the series. Salvian was the 29th pick in the 1975 NHL Draft. He ended up playing most of his career in the CHL and had as many as 38 goals in one season in that league.
Neil Hawryliw (1981)
While he only played one game, Neil Hawryliw was a part of the 1981 Islanders team that won their second of four consecutive Stanley Cups. The forward signed with the Islanders in 1978 but dressed once in a 2-2 tie to the Calgary Flames. He mostly played his professional career in the CHL and the IHL before finishing his career in 1987.
Vern Smith (1985)
In a wild game against the Detroit Red Wings in 1985, Vern Smith played in his first and only contest in a 5-4 loss. Following this game, Smith would never make it back to the NHL and went on to never make it out of the AHL again after being drafted in the second round of the 1982 NHL draft.
Jason Herter (1995)
Of all the Islanders on the list, Jason Herter is the only second player in Islanders’ history to register a point in his single game. It came in 1995 against the Hartford Whalers in a 7-4 loss. However, with the Islanders on a 5-on-3 after penalties to both Kelly Chase and Andrei Nikolishin for tripping three seconds apart, Herter received the secondary assist on Ziggy Palffy’s 10th goal of the season.
Herter ended up playing most of his time with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. He scored 15 goals and had 48 points in two years with Bridgeport and then went onto play 394 games in the IHL. Herter was recently an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota-Duluth hockey team.
Nicholas Vachon (1996)
Nicholas Vachon is the son of former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon. He was drafted 241st overall by Toronto Maple Leafs in 1990 as a forward after playing college hockey at Boston University. It took six years for him to make his NHL debut, which he did against his father’s former team.
While he didn’t register on the scoresheet and was a minus-one, New York prevailed in a 4-3 win over the Kings. Bryan McCabe turned out to score the game-winning goal in the third period. Vachon then only played 63 games combined in the AHL and IHL following this game and had six years of 100 or more penalty minutes.
Jeff Libby (1998)
It was a rollercoaster career for Jeff Libby who was never drafted. He made his NHL debut for the Islanders on March 26, 1998. He showed up to the game midway through the first period and only played one shift in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“They threw together some equipment and I got out there for one shift in the second period,” “I remember (Islanders defenseman) Richie Pilon telling me, ‘Watch out for No. 68 (Jaromir Jagr), he’s pretty good.’ I said, ‘The chances of me being out there when he’s out there are pretty slim.Jeff Libby on his one shifting the NHL (from ‘Happy ending for Libby Lock Monster who lost an eye in ’98 has no regrets’, The Sun-1/29/06
Libby then had one of the scariest career-ending injuries in sports history when he had his eye sliced by an opponent skate blade while playing in the inaugural season for the Lowell Lock Monsters in 1998.
Cole Jarrett (2006)
A former fifth-round pick in 2001 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cole Jarrett played one game after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Islanders. He played in the final game of the 2005-06 season with the Islanders in a disappointing year.
This was a year that was bookended by a pair of playoff appearances in 2004 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and 2007 against the Buffalo Sabres. In Jarrett’s only game, he played a bit over 13 minutes, but New York fell 4-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers. Since then, he has traveled around the world and played in Austria as well as in Japan.
Masi Marjamäki (2006)
Also making his NHL debut in the same game as Jarrett was Masi Marjamäki, a Finnish-born forward. He was drafted twice in the NHL after not agreeing to terms with the Boston Bruins after being selected 66th overall in 2003. Marjamäki was then picked by Islanders at No. 144 in the 2005 draft.
In his lone appearance in the NHL, Marjamäki played only 5:17 in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He played most of the season with the Sound Tigers, where he had 77 penalty minutes in 75 games. Two years later after being scratched every game in the AHL, he asked to be reassigned by the Islanders to Finland and is currently still playing in the EIHL at 35 years old.
Sean Bentivoglio (2009)
The Islanders signed Sean Bentivoglio, who was CHA Player of the Year and Providence Bruins standout to a three-year contract in 2007.
“This is an important signing for us,” said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. “There was a lot of interest in Sean and our scouts are thrilled he chose to be an Islander. Sean was a dominant player in college and proved with the Providence Bruins that he’s close to reaching the next level. He has NHL speed and playmaking ability and plays the game with a ton of determination.”NHL.com
With all the hype, Bentivoglio played one game in 2009 against the Montreal Canadiens after playing in the AHL. The Islanders lost 5-1 as Bentivoglio took a two-minute penalty in the game at the Coliseum.
Jamie Fraser (2009)
After Jamie Fraser’s one game with the Islanders, he impressed enough to get a contract with the Minnesota Wild the next season. Unfortunately, he never appeared in another game but helped the Islanders to a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011.
Fraser played 11:00 as the Islanders had goals from Richard Park and then power-play goals from Radek Martinek and Josh Bailey. It was the final win of the season as the Islanders lost their last four games.
Anton Klementyev (2010)
In the same year that the Islanders drafted John Tavares in 2009, New York selected defenseman Anton Klementyev in the sixth round. He started off playing for the Sound Tigers and then got the call-up for one game against the Columbus Blue Jackets later that year and played 6:20 in New York’s win. Klementyev then went back to the AHL and refused to report to the ECHL in 2012 and had his contract terminated.
Matt Campanale (2011)
Matt Campanale had his lone game come in the third to last game of the 2011 season. A former New Hampshire Wildcats college hockey player played four years before signing an amateur contract with the Sound Tigers. He quickly got called-up to fill in on defense and played 8:21 in a 3-2 loss against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Campanale also added a two-minute delay of game penalty in the game’s third minute.
Jamie Doornbosch (2011)
Two days after Campanale made his debut, Jamie Doornbosch made his. debut for the Islanders. He signed an amateur tryout contract after sudden injuries to Milan Jurcina and Jack Hillen. Doornbosch previously played for the Kitchener Rangers and played his lone game in New York in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of the regular season in 2010-11.
This was the first game the two teams played since the epic fight-night game at the Coliseum two months prior. While there were only 76 penalty minutes compared to 346, Doornbosch played 5:46 seconds and was a minus-one in his only game in the NHL.
Shane Sims (2011)
The Islanders had a chance to select Brad Marchand in the 2006 NHL Draft. General manager Neil Smith decided to trade back and receive two picks later in the draft at picks No. 98, where they sent James DeLory to the San Jose Sharks, and then selected Shane Sims at No. 126. Marchand, who is still in the league today, has gone on to win a Stanley Cup and make two All-Star teams.
Between Delory and Sims, they played in one career NHL game, and that belonged to Sims the day after Doornbosch made his debut on defense. Sims played only 6:34 in a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He then went on to play in the ECHL in 2011-12 and 2014-15 and floated around a couple of different teams overseas in between.
For most of these players, they were able to break into the lineup in one of the final games of the season due to injuries. While it was only one game they got to play, it will always be a moment they will remember, including Hawryliw, who was a part of the 1981 team that won the Stanley Cup.
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor degree in journalism. Originally from Long Island, he moved to Parkland shortly after high school. Matt worked as the assistant sports editor for his school paper, eaglenews.com in college becoming just one of nine students in his graduation class to serve over 1,000 community service hours. His goal is to travel to every Major League Baseball stadium, and has been to multiple US Open finals.