Islanders Get One Right: Sign Mapletoft

By Jonathan Litterine
The Islanders make a lot of mistakes. Last year they blew their Top draft
pick. But this week they got one right. They signed center Justin Mapletoft
to a three year deal. Yet in typical Islanders fashion, they made everyone
sweat it out. Had the Islanders not been able to reach a deal with Mapletoft, he would have had to re-enter this month’s 2001 Draft. Mapletoft who had 43
goals, 77 assists and 120 points this year lead his Red Deer Rebels to the
CHL Memorial Cup. In addition to that, Mapletoft was named the WHL’s Most
Valuable Player. Mapletoft was a 5th round selection of the Isles, 130th
overall in 1999. I wouldn’t even want to see the faces of Islanders fans if
Mike Milbury couldn’t come to terms with this kid. He is considered by many
to be the steal of the 1999 draft. Smartly the Isles paid him what he wanted
and locked him up for 3 seasons. Hopefully for most Islanders fans, You will
see Mapletoft on the Nassau Coliseum ice for a lot longer then 3 seasons.
With a guy with Mapletoft’s skill and desire it makes you wonder how all the
teams ahead of the Islanders missed Mapletoft?, Mike Milbury credits his WHL
scout Earl Ingarfield for finding this diamond in the rough. The Isles make a
lot of mistakes, and most 5th round picks turn out to be mistakes. But the
Islanders are going to be winners for a long time with this one.