Drafted By The Islanders
Because of his problematic qualities in juniors, plus his high salary demands and relatively small stature (only 6' and 185 lbs.), Bossy was not chosen until the 15th pick of the 1977 draft. Six other right wings were chosen ahead of him. The New York Islanders picked him because they believed he could be a good two-way player. Bossy himself was hurt that he dropped to 15th and had something to prove. While his defensive play improved, Bossy would never fight.
When Bossy joined the New York Islanders at the beginning of the 1977-78 season, the team was only five years old and very bad. Coach Al Arbour teamed Bossy with another young player, center and complete player Bryan Trottier, and left wing Clark Gillies to form what came to be called the Trio Grande line. Over the course of the next 11 years, the line scored many goals for the Islanders and were the primary key to their success.
Bossy showed his scoring prowess from the beginning. He scored fifty goals that season, the first rookie to accomplish this feat. He also won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. The Islanders also made it to the quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup, where they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
During his sophomore season, 1978-79, Bossy did not slump. He had thirty-five goals by mid-season, greatly contributing to making the Islanders the highest scoring team in the league. He ended the season with sixty-nine goals, and New York won the President's Trophy for having the most points on the season. The Islanders continued to struggle in the post-season however.
Though Bossy only scored fifty-one goals in the 1979-80 season, the Islanders won the first of four Stanley Cups in 1980. The team finally gelled when they won the Cup, and Bossy was an important component to the team's success. His greatest contribution remained his scoring. By November 1980, Bossy had scored 181 goals in his first 239 games, a record high scoring percentage.