I cringe when I think of the fact that the New York Islanders could have had Jason Spezza and what that could have done to his growth as a hockey player.
Holding the #2 pick in the 2001 entry draft, the Islanders chose to deal that pick instead. Not sure why. Maybe they there wouldn’t be any good players left by then. (Although to be fair, the Islanders probably would have traded him after two seasons.)
Regardless, that deal turned out to be one the greatest steals in Ottawa Senators history.
Spezza, after some early trouble with then-head coach Jacques Martin (who said he was a boy playing with men), Spezza started to blossom under different coaches. In the first year after the lockout with Bryan Murray as coach, Spezza notched 90 points in 68 games.
After that, Spezza has part of one of the most dominant lines in the NHL, and his numbers reflected that.
He has scored 90 points twice.
Although he’s been criticized for not shooting enough, he has scored at least 20 goals the last five years, and six times total. He’s had three seasons where he has scored at least 32 goals.
His 22 points in the 2007 playoffs is tied for most all-time in Senators history in one playoff round.
He is a point-per-game player in the regular season and the playoffs.
Overall, he is third all-time in goals, second in assists, second in points and second in powerplay goals.
In the playoffs, he is tied for second in goals, third in assists, second in points and tied for second in powerplay goals.
He has played in two all-star games.
And to think, the Islanders could have had all that production for the past 10 years, plus Zdeno Chara too.