21 players were picked before Bryan Trottier in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. Of those 21, the eighteenth pick by Boston, Don Larway, never played a game in the NHL, although he had a lengthy career in the World Hockey Association. The 15th pick, Gord McTavish and the 20th pick, Glen Burdon, each played eleven NHL games.
Over his National Hockey League career, Bryan Trottier easily outperformed any of those players drafted in front of him. In fact, he is 600 points better over his career than any other player from that class of 1974.
Trottier was the second pick of the New York Islanders in the 1974 Amateur Draft. Clark Gillies went fourth overall and certainly was no dud with the Islanders. With their career numbers combined, Trottier and Gillies totaled 2,122 regular season NHL points when all was said and done.
Returning for a year of seasoning in the Western Canada Hockey League in 1974-75, Trottier produced 144 points for the Lethbridge Broncos in 67 games. The following season, in his rookie season with New York, Trottier didn’t slow down much. His 95 points became a rookie record, which has since been broken, and he earned the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top first year player. The Bryan Trottier rookie card from the 1976-77 O-Pee-Chee series is valued at up to $60.
After succumbing to a bit of a sophomore jinx in 1976-77 when he contributed just 72 points in 76 games for the Islanders, Trottier came into his own as a true NHL superstar in 1977-78. He began a string of five consecutive 100+ point seasons that saw him peak at 134 in 1978-79. The 134 points was the most in the NHL and earned him the Art Ross Trophy. He also earned the Hart Memorial Trophy that season as the league’s most valuable player.
1979-80 brought Bryan and the Islanders their first of four straight Stanley Cup championships. Trottier won the Conn Smythe Trophy that year as the playoffs MVP. It would prove to be the only time Bryan would win the Conn Smythe but there would be two more Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990’s to add to his four with New York.
Trottier finished up his NHL playing career with the Penguins in 1993-94. His name is commonly found on NHL all-time lists:
- 524 regular season goals – 32nd
- 901 regular season assists – 18th
- 1425 regular season points – 15th
- 221 playoff games – 10th
- 71 playoff goals – 15th
- 113 playoff assists – 15th
- 184 playoff points – 10th
- +452 in regular season play – 9th
Bryan Trottier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997 and his number 19 was retired by the New York Islanders in 2001. In total, Trottier played in eight NHL All-Star games over his brilliant career. Currently, Trottier is still active in the New York Islanders front office.