Kim Issel

The price of success for NHL teams is poor draft position in the following summer's Entry Draft. Quite often prolonged success results in poor drafting. The highly successful Edmonton Oilers went through a period of 9 years of drafting 1st round picks that didn't pan out. From 1984 through 1992, only 1988 draft pick Francois Leroux saw any considerable time in the NHL. The Oilers drafted names like Selmar Odelein, Scott Metcalfe, Peter Soberlak, Jason Soules, Scott Allison, Tyler Wright and Joe Hulbig. In 1986, the Oilers used their 21st overall pick to select Kim Issel.

Issel was a towering right winger, standing at 6'4" and almost 200lbs. A good skater for his size, Issel's downfall was he wasn't nearly physical enough for a man of his size. He shied away from physical conflicts when he had the size to dominate it. Issel played 4 season of junior hockey with the Prince Albert Raiders. He was drafted at the age of 18 after his strong play in the Memorial Cup.

Issel turned pro with the Cape Breton Oilers in 1987, scoring only twice while adding 25 assists. The following season he emerged as an AHL scoring threat. He also had his only cup of NHL tea, seeing very limited action in four NHL games. Issel returned to Cape Breton the following season and split the 1990-91 season between Cape Breton and the Kansas City Blades of the IHL.

The kid from Regina Saskatchewan left North America to play professional hockey in Europe. He played 4 seasons in Austria where he had some nice success. He briefly had stops in Italy and Great Britain before splitting much of the rest of his hockey career in either Slovenia and Germany. Unbeknownst to most NHL fans, Issel retired officially in 1999.


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