New York Islanders’ Top 20 Goal Scorers All-Time

Founded in 1972, the New York Islanders have created many historical moments throughout their 50 years of existence. During the dynasty years in the 1980s, the roster included some of the greatest ever to play the game. Seven former Islanders have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, including Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Pat Lafontaine, Bryan Trottier, and legendary goal scorer Mike Bossy. All of these Islanders greats had a knack for finding the back of the net, and today we look at the Top 20 goal-scorers in franchise history.

20. Kyle Okposo

Drafted by the Islanders seventh overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Kyle Okposo went on to play nine seasons with the club, scoring 139 goals in 529 games. He scored a career-high 27 goals during the 2013-14 season. His first NHL goal came on March 21, 2008. With his helmet knocked off his head, he ripped home a one-timer past Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur.

After leaving the Islanders as a free agent in 2016, he signed a massive seven-year $42 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. He is now in the final year of that lucrative contract.

19. Mariusz Czerkawski

The New York Islanders acquired Mariusz Czerkawski ahead of the 1997-98 season. In one of former general manager Mike Milbury’s better trades, he sent prospect Dan Lacouture to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the 25-year-old Czerkawski. The right winger, the greatest Polish player in NHL history, scored 145 goals in 470 games with New York.

He put up back-to-back 30-goal seasons on Long Island before being dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Aaron Asham and a 5th-round draft pick on June 22, 2002. The Canadiens, however, eventually bought out the Polish forward, setting up a return to New York. He was signed to a one-year, $900,000 contract ahead of the 2003-04 season and scored 25 more goals with the team. (from HOCKEY; Isles Bring Czerkawski Back To Punch Up Their Scoring – The New York Times (

18. Pierre Turgeon

On October 25, 1991, the Islanders made a blockbuster deal with the Sabres, landing former first-overall draft pick Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, Uwe Krupp, and Dave McLlwain in exchange for Pat Lafontaine, Randy Wood, Randy Hillier, and future considerations. He spent four seasons with New York and scored a career-high 58 goals in the 1992-93 season. In 255 career games with the club, he scored 147 goals. In 1995, he was traded to the Canadiens along with Vladimir Malakhov for Kirk Muller, Mathieu Schneider, and Craig Darby (from HOCKEY; Turgeon Exits As Isles Make Their Move – The New York Times)

Pierre Turgeon New York Islanders
Pierre Turgeon, New York Islanders, 1992 (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

In his NHL career, he scored 515 goals and 812 assists for 1327 points in 1294 games. Despite the great offensive prowess displayed throughout his career, he remains to be snubbed by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

17. Patrick Flatley

Patrick Flatley was a first-round selection by the Islanders in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. In 13 seasons and 712 regular-season games for the New York Islanders, he found the back of the net 160 times. In 1991, he was named the Islanders’ fifth captain in franchise history, a title he would hold until the 1995-96 season. His nickname was “Chairman of the Boards,” because his puck pursuit and ability to win battles along the boards were his biggest strengths.

After 13 seasons in New York, the gritty right winger moved across town to play his final season with the archrival New York Rangers.

16. Zigmund Palffy

Palffy was a New York Islanders fan favourite during the trying times of the mid-1990s. Palffy was drafted by the organization and spent six seasons on Long Island, scoring 168 goals in 331 games. He scored 40+ goals in three consecutive seasons, including a career-high 48 in the 1996-97 season. On June 19, 1999, Palffy was traded with Brian Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau, and the Islanders’ 1999 4th-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings (from “King Trade Part of a New Look”, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1999). In return, the Islanders received Mathieu Biron, Josh Green, Olli Jokinen, and the Kings’ 8th-overall pick (Taylor Pyatt).

Related: Islanders’ Pierre Turgeon Belongs in the Hall of Fame

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The right winger played five seasons with the Kings and topped the 30-goal mark three more times. A shoulder injury limited him to just 35 games with the Kings in the 2003-04 season. Following the NHL lockout in 2004-05, he signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, his time with the Penguins was short-lived, as he announced his retirement after just 42 games.

Palffy returned to professional hockey in 2008-09, playing for his hometown HK 36 Skalica, where he scored an impressive 52 goals in 53 games. He officially announced his retirement in July 2013 but remains one of the most under-appreciated players to play the game.

15. Josh Bailey

Josh Bailey was selected 9th-overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Known more for his playmaking abilities, he has scored 182 goals in 1029 games and ranks third all-time in games played behind Potvin and Trottier. On Oct. 28, 2022, he scored a goal while playing in his 1000th career game.

New York Islanders Josh Bailey
New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey is hugged by teammates (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)10

14. Billy Harris

With the franchise’s first-ever 1st-overall draft choice, the Islanders selected Bill Harris, a left-shooting, right-winger. He played for the Islanders for eight seasons scoring 184 goals in 623 games. He led New York with 28 goals in their inaugural season.

Related: THW’s Best Goal Scorers Collection

On March 10, 1980, Harris was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Butch Goring. Goring went on to be key piece of the Islanders’ roster during the dynasty years.

13. John Tonelli

John Tonelli was drafted 33rd overall by the New York Islanders in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft. In eight seasons with the club, the left-winger scored 206 goals in 594 games. He also assisted on Bobby Nystrom’s Stanley Cup-winning goal to clinch the Isles’ first championship and was a part of all four of the franchise’s Stanley Cup victories. He created many memorable moments while playing for New York, including a five-goal game on Jan. 6, 1981, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Feb. 21, 2020, the Islanders retired his number 27.

John Tonelli
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: John Tonelli #27 of the New York Islanders skates on the ice during Game 3 of the 1982 Division Finals against the New York Rangers on April 18, 1982 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

12. Derek King

The New York Islanders selected Derek King with their 13th overall pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He played 11 seasons with New York, scoring 211 goals in 638 games. In the 1991-92 season, he hit the 40-goal mark and followed that up with 38 and 30-goal seasons. While being a power play specialist for the club, he scored 81 of his goals for New York on the power play.

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On March 18, 1997, King was traded to the Hartford Whalers for a 1997 5th-round draft pick. Following his stop in Hartford, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored Toronto’s final goal at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999.

11. Brock Nelson

Brock Nelson is the second player from the current roster to make the list. A first-round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he has scored 220 goals in 716 games. He set a career-high in the 2021-22 season, lighting the lamp 37 times. On one particularly memorable game against the Montreal Canadiens, he had a four-goal game against the Montreal Canadiens

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Nelson is sure to move up on the Islanders’ all-time goal-scoring list as his game continues to reach new heights. The 31-year-old forward scored his first NHL goal on October 22, 2013, against the Vancouver Canucks and etched his name in the history books when he scored the first Islanders goal at UBS arena.

10. Anders Lee

The 15th captain in franchise history, Anders Lee, is the third and final player from the current roster to crack the top 20. He was a steal at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft as the New York Islanders selected the US-born left-winger in the 6th-round, 151st overall. Now in his 11th season with the club, he has 226 goals in 636 games played.

Anders Lee New York Islanders
Anders Lee, New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Lee posted a career-high 40 goals in 2017-18. With just two seconds remaining in regulation in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 10, 2022, the captain scored his first career hat trick. On July 1, 2019, he signed a seven-year contract that will keep him in an Islanders jersey through the 2025-26 season.

9. Bobby Nystrom

The lone Swedish player on this list, Bobby Nystrom scored the New York Islanders’ first Stanley Cup-winning goal on May 24, 1980. In total, he scored 235 goals in 900 games. The club drafted him in the third-round, 33rd-overall, in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. He was best known for his relentless work ethic.

Nystrom’s number 23 banner hangs from the ceiling as he became the fifth player from the dynasty years to have his number retired, forever etching him in history as one of the Islanders’ all-time greats.

8. Bob Bourne

In 814 games with the New York Islanders, Bob Bourne scored 238 goals. He was acquired in a 1974 trade with the Kansas City Scouts and spent 12 seasons in New York as a key member of the dynasty years. He led the team with 28 points during the 1983 NHL Playoffs. He also holds the record for most shorthanded goals in a single season, notching seven in the 1980-81 campaign.

Bourne finished his career by playing two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. In 1988, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy following the final season of his illustrious career.

7. John Tavares

Do we dare mention his name? With the 1st-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders selected John Tavares, who immediately made an impact with the club and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in the 2009-10 season. Tavares eclipsed the 30-goal plateau four times during his nine seasons with the club, scoring 272 goals in 669 games.

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New York’s 14th captain in franchise history broke Islanders fans’ hearts when he left the club via free agency. Tavares signed a massive 7-year, $77-Million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018. In his return to New York on Feb. 28, 2019, he felt the wrath of Islanders fans. The hostile crowd serenaded him boos and chanted, ” We Don’t Need You” during the 6-1 win for New York.

6. Brent Sutter

In the first round of the 1980 NHL Amateur Draft, the New York Islanders selected Brent Sutter 17th-overall. He had a lengthy run in New York, playing 12 seasons for the franchise. He scored 287 goals in 694 games, including a career-high of 42 goals during the 1984-85 season. He added 60 assists that season to surpass the century mark for the only time in his career.

Brent Sutter New York Islanders
Brent Sutter, New York Islanders, early 1990s (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Following Denis Potvin’s retirement, the players chose Sutter to be their fourth captain. He wore the “C” from the 1987-88 season until 1991-92, before he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in October 1991. The Islanders sent Sutter along with winger Brad Lauer to Chicago for Steve Thomas and Adam Creighton.

5. Pat LaFontaine

With the 3rd-overall pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders selected Pat LaFontaine. He was a highly touted prospect coming out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He scored 104 goals and 130 assists for 234 points in 70 games and broke Mike Bossy’s QMJHL record for most goals by a rookie.

LaFontaine scored 287 goals in 530 career games with the Islanders before he was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres on October 25, 1991. He scored another 158 goals in 268 games played with the Sabres. The highly skilled US-born center played his final season in 1997-98 with the New York Rangers; he was forced into early retirement at the age of 32 after sustaining multiple concussions in his career. In 2003, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His 468 career goals rank 5th among all US-born players.

4. Clark Gillies

Clark Gillies was drafted by the Islanders 4th-overall in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. He went on to spend 12 memorable seasons in New York and was named the second captain in franchise history. In 872 games with the club, the 6-foot-3 left winger scored 304 goals, and he eclipsed the 30-goal mark six times, including a career-high 38 in the 1981-82 season.

Gillies made up one-third of the Islanders’ “Trio Grande” line, which featured fellow Hall-of-Famers Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy. The line was one the best the game has ever seen, and they played a vital role in the franchise’s four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships.

Following the 1985-86 season, Gillies was left unprotected in the NHL Waiver draft and was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres. After appearing in 86 total games with Buffalo over the course of two seasons, he announced his retirement. On Dec. 7, 1996, the Islanders raised Gillies’ number nine to the rafters, and it will never be worn again by another Islanders player. In 2002 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining his former teammates Potvin, Trottier and Bossy.

3. Denis Potvin

Denis Potvin is the only defenceman to crack the top 20 list. The Islanders drafted Potvin 1st-overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft. He played his entire 15-year career with the franchise, scoring 310 goals in 1060 games, including a career-high 31 goals on two occasions. Once during the 1975-76 season and again during the 1978-79 season.

Denis Potvin New York Islanders
Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders skates against the Montreal Canadiens in the 1980s at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Potvin was the Islanders’ third captain, relieving Gillies of his captain duties for the 1979-80 season. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion, won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, and was also a three-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenceman. Following the 1987-88 season, Potvin announced his retirement. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

2. Bryan Trottier

Trottier was a 2nd-round selection by the New York Islanders in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. In his rookie season, he scored 32 goals and 63 assists en route to capturing the Calder Memorial Trophy. The Val Marie, Saskatchewan native, played 15 seasons with New York, scoring 500 goals in 1123 games. During the 1978-79 campaign, he won the Art Ross and the Hart Memorial Trophies while scoring 47 goals and 134 points in 78 games.

Islanders Dynasty
New York Islanders Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy, Stanley Cup (THW Archives)

He followed up that by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy during the Islanders’ first Stanley Cup championship. He hit the 50-goal mark during the 1981-82 season. In 15 seasons in New York, he scored 40 goals or more five times and hit the 30-goal mark 11 times.

Related: The Boss of Long Island: Mike Bossy’s Life Story

Trottier finished his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won two more Stanley Cups. Following the 1993-94 season, after an 18-year career, he announced his retirement as a six-time Stanley Cup Champion. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. The Islanders retired his number 19 on October 20, 1991.

1. Mike Bossy

Bossy was one of the purest natural goal-scorers that the NHL has ever seen. The New York Islanders drafted him 15th-overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, and he went on to play 10 seasons with the club, scoring 573 goals. His .762 goals per game is the best in NHL history.

Mike Bossy 50 Goals
Canadian hockey player Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders on the ice, February 1982. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Bossy’s goal-scoring prowess remains unmatched, notching 60 or more 5 times. He also hit the 50-goal mark in nine of his 10 seasons in the league. His career-low of 38 goals during his final season, is more than many NHL players’ career highs. Unfortunately, Bossy was forced into early retirement due to chronic back problems.

Top 20 All-Time Islanders’ Goal Scorers Emphasize Strong Drafting

The New York Islanders have done a great job of drafting quality talent throughout their storied history. Seventeen of the franchise’s top 20 goal-scorers were originally drafted by the club. The top-20 list is sure to change over time as more recent Islanders draft picks, such as Mathew Barzal, continue to climb the franchise’s all-time leaderboards.