After spending months of extensive research, by watching countless hours of game tape and interviewing potential draft prospects along with their respective junior hockey league coaches, it is my pleasure - here on Islanders Point Blank - to file the first annual IPB’s 2012 NHL Mock Draft.


The 2012 NHL Entry Draft – the 50th edition – will be held on June 22-23, emanating from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.


1. Edmonton – Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia (OHL) – The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Yakupov has been the consensus top overall choice since the first draft rankings were announced back in September. Nine months later, no other draft-eligible prospect has made the 18-year-old winger even break a sweat. By winning the draft lottery for a third straight season, becoming the first team since the 1989-91 Quebec Nordiques to select first overall three consecutive years, the Oilers hold all the cards. Yet, despite the fact that its most glaring need is on the blue line, Yakupov’s overall skill-set might just be too much to bypass. Accepting feeds from 2011 first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will give older Oilers fans the opportunity to relive their youth, as they envision Mark Messier feeding Wayne Gretzky back when the team won four Stanley Cups in five seasons.


2. Columbus – Filip Forsberg, LW, Leksands IF (SWE) – Is this the day that the Blue Jackets finally send seven-time, 30-goal scorer Rick Nash packing? If so, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Forsberg would fill a glaring need. Drawing comparisons to Anaheim’s Corey Perry, the 17-year-old Forsberg would be a tremendous complement to 2010 first round selection Ryan Johansen. Yet, despite the fact that his stock has grown since arriving last week at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto, all indications are that he will return to his junior team in Sweden for the 2012-13 campaign.


3. Montreal – Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL) – Despite only dressing for two regular season games this past season – after suffering a torn ACL - the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Galchenyuk returned to the Sting postseason line-up without missing a beat. The Wisconsin-born, Belarusian-raised center has fully recovered from his injury. He took part in all the physical tests at the NHL Scouting Combine. Scouts marvel at his playmaking abilities, believing that it was he who elevated line-mate Yakupov’s overall play at Sarnia. Canadiens fans should be excited at the prospects of 18-year-old Galchenyuk and 23-year-old winger Max Pacioretty playing off one another, in hopes of of reviving an offense that ranked 20th in the league in goals scored.


4. ISLANDERS – Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL) – Filling an immediate need, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Murray, who grew up patterning his game after former New Jersey Devils defenseman and future Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer, would be a steadying force to a blue line that only returns three players – Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew McDonald – from its 2011-12 roster. The 18-year-old also played admirably for Team Canada at the recent World Championships, filling in for an injured Marc Methot. He drew rave reviews from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. The most NHL-ready defenseman would be given every opportunity to win an opening night roster spot on Long Island.


5. Toronto – Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL) – In his first season playing on North American soil, Faksa stepped into the shadows left behind by former Kitchener captain and current Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog and excelled. Faksa collected 67 points – 29 goals and 38 assists – in 62 games. Ranked 17th in TSN Craig Button’s latest prospect rankings, Faksa’s meteoric rise up the draft boards draws similarities to that of Ryan Strome, who was selected fifth overall by the Islanders in the 2011 draft after a late surge up the draft rankings. The 18-year-old Faksa, who is also able to slide over to the wing, draws comparisons to current Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski.


6. Anaheim – Matthew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL) – The six-foot, 185-pound Dumba is the prototypical high-risk, high reward selection. Not afraid of throwing his body around, Dumba has drawn comparisons to Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf, despite giving up three inches and 30 pounds to the 27-year-old Leaf. As veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is considered a question mark to return to the Ducks lineup for the 2012-13 campaign, the 17-year-old Dumba – with a solid training camp – could find his way onto the Ducks’ opening night line-up to play alongside fellow youngsters Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa.


7. Minnesota – Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP (USHL) – Born in neighboring Rochester, Minnesota, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Trouba showcased his talents by playing for the U.S. National Training Development Program in Ann Arbor. A stay-at-home physical defenseman in the mold of Chris Pronger, Trouba has the make-up fit for the cold winter nights in Minneapolis, St. Paul. Despite the fact that Trouba plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall, the Wild – with patience - might be getting the draft’s top-overall defenseman in the long run.


8. Carolina – Mikhail Grigorenko, C/RW, Quebec (QMJHL) – The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Grigorenko recorded 85 points – 40 goals and 45 assists – playing for Patrick Roy and the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Once looked at as a sure-bet, top-five overall pick, Grigorenko’s work ethic has come into question. Still, at this point of the draft, the offensively-challenged Hurricanes - who still have their eyes set on reuniting Eric Staal with his brother Jordan in a potential offseason trade with the Penguins - would be foolish to let an Evgeni Malkin-clone slip through its fingertips.


9. Winnipeg – Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL) – The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Reinhart might be the most imposing physical defenseman to be selected in the entire draft. Yet, having just completed his second full season in Edmonton, many still question whether the son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart is still yet too raw to play on the NHL scene next season. Whether it has to wait an extra season or two, envision the 18-year-oldReinhart – a Shea Weber-type defenseman – clearing bodies in front of a raucous crowd at MTS Centre. He and 2008 first round pick Zach Bogosian could form a beautiful partnership.


10. Tampa Bay – Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL) – The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Maatta - just 17 years old - played his best hockey at the most opportune time for both the Knights and his personal draft standing. After collecting a respectable 32 points – five goals and 27 assists – in his first season outside of Finland, Maatta – the first overall pick in the 2011 CHL Import Draft – would became a playoff sensation playing alongside Jarrod Tinordi – a 2010 first round selection by Montreal. In 19 games, Maatta scored six goals and registered 17 assists, as he helped the Knights capture the 2012 OHL Championship Title. Maatta, who has drawn comparisons with impending UFA Ryan Suter has his sights set on playing in the NHL in the fall. He and 2009 second overall selection Victor Hedman could be a deadly duo in the Sunshine State.


11. Washington (from Colorado) – Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL) – With both offensive defensemen Mike Green (RFA) and Dennis Wideman (UFA) expecting to test the free agent waters, a huge gap is left on the Capitals blue line. As John Carlson continues to mature into a bona-fide top pairing defenseman, the void on the power play – without Green or Wideman – would be glaring. Morgan Rielly, a 6-foot, 190-pound defenseman, might just be what the doctor ordered. Despite missing 50 games last season with a knee injury, the 18-year-old Rielly – who has drawn comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson - is an offensive dynamo from the blue line. Considered by many the top offensive defenseman in the entire draft, Rielly might need some fine tuning back in Moose Jaw, but he isn’t long for an NHL invite.


12. Buffalo – Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (Finland) – While the team continues to pursue Jordan Staal from Pittsburgh in a offseason trade, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Teravainen would be no consolation prize to a team in dire need of scoring punch. Having played the past four seasons in his native Finland, the 17-year-old Teravainen – who has been compared to Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky - would follow in the footsteps of fellow diminutive forwards Nathan Gerbe (5-foot-5) and Tyler Ennis (5-foot-9) on a journey to upstate New York. He is a project with top-six upside and 30-goal potential.


13. Dallas – Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL) – The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Ceci more than doubled his previous two seasons’ point total – 46 - with a 60-point campaign in 64 games for the 2011-12 Ottawa 67’s. Finishing second to Niagara’s Dougie Hamilton (72) in OHL scoring for a defenseman, also helped him elevate his overall draft status. A projected top-four NHL defenseman, Ceci would provide immediate depth on an aging Stars blue line, as both Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray’s NHL careers are winding down. The 18-year-old Ceci has drawn comparisons to Calgary’s Anton Babchuk.


14. Calgary – Matt Finn, D, Guelph (OHL) – As both Cory Sarich and Scott Hannan head into free agency in the next couple of weeks, the Calgary Flames are sure to be looking to add quality depth on their blue line. Enter 6-foot-2, 200-pound Matt Finn. When interviewed earlier this year, Finn referred to himself as a defenseman who plays “a quiet game”. Quiet to some might mean non-descript, yet to other’s Finn’s steady play could translate into a defenseman ready to embark on a 10-to-15 year NHL career. Compared to Carolina’s Tim Gleason, the 18-year-old Finn isn’t showy or flashy, yet he might be a player who could be a building block in Alberta.


15. Ottawa – Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda HC (Sweden) – No better introduction to the NHL game than learning from fellow countrymen Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Collberg possesses a deadly snap shot. Compared to Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, the 18-year-old Collberg could use another year or two of development time in Sweden. Yet, when ready, he should see 2011 first round pick and fellow countryman Mika Zibanejad on his line.


16. Washington – Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL) – Mature beyond his years, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Gaunce was named assistant captain of his OHL team at just 17 years old. Learning from older brother Cameron – a Colorado Avalanche draft pick – who himself played alongside Steven Stamkos and Michael Del Zotto, back in their school-boy days in Markham, Ontario, Brendan elevated his play in his second OHL season, collecting 68 points in 68 games. With hopes of transitioning their play from the frustrations that impending UFA Alexander Semin brought to them on a nightly basis, the Capitals need not worry about Gaunce – a future NHL captain – who will bring his proverbial lunch pail to the office and play with maximum intensity.


17. San Jose – Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL) – Coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Koekkoek could be the type of jewel that San Jose is looking for. After suffering through another early playoff exit, transitioning a hungry Koekkoek into a veteran lineup might be the juice that this organization is needed. Learning from perennial all-stars Dan Boyle and Brent Burns could help ease Koekkoek’s transition onto the NHL scene. Compared to Vancouver’s Alexander Edler, the 18-year-old Koekkoek was recently cleared by medical doctors at the NHL Scouting Combine with full bill of health.


18. Chicago – Tom Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL) – Once the Windy City takes a first glance at the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Tom Wilson, they will instantly fall in love. Blue collar by nature, the 18-year-old Wilson could be the spark that this organization – frustrated by a first-round exit to Phoenix – needs. He is willing and able to engage physically. One should expect Vince Vaughn to don Wilson’s sweater just days after he steps foot on the United Center ice. Wilson draws comparisons to Boston’s Milan Lucic.


19. Tampa Bay (from Detroit) – Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL) – Needing much-needed depth on the blue line, the six-foot, 190-pound Pouliot is another one of those steady defensemen destined for a long and productive NHL career. Playing against the likes of Dumba, Rielly, Reinhart and Murray in defensive-laden Western Hockey League has matured Pouliot to the player that he is today. Finishing fourth amongst WHL defenders in points scored, the 18-year-old Pouliot couldn’t ask for two better mentors to hone his game than Lightning defensemen Eric Brewer and Mattias Ohlund.


20. Philadelphia – Brady Skjei, D, USDP (USHL) – Having already committed to the University of Minnesota, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Skjei provides the Flyers organization a presence on the back end. As defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger are fully aware that their best years are behind them, the 18-year-old Skjei could be that big, physical defenseman that should help the likes of Niklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn in the future. Yet, patience is a virtue. Don’t expect him to don a Flyers sweater for at least three seasons.


21. Buffalo (from Nashville) - Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL) – Committed to the University of Vermont in the fall, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Girgensons possesses a skill-set that have many scouts comparing him to Chicago’s Jonathon Toews. A native of Latvia, Girgensons has honed his skills stateside, playing for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. In his two seasons in Dubuque, Girgensons has collected 104 points in 100 games. The 18-year-old Girgensons is projected to be a top-six forward on the pro level, and could provide the Sabres some desperately needed scoring punch, come 2014.


22. Pittsburgh – Tomas Hertl, LW, Slavia (CZE) – Having selected Jaromir Jagr fifth overall back in the 1990 NHL Draft, the Penguins are definitely not shy in plucking young talent from overseas. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Hertl – who has drawn comparisons to Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal - plays a strong two-way game, and projects as a top-six forward on the NHL level. Having just completed his first full season playing for Slavia Praha HC, one would expect the Penguins to allow Hertl to develop even more, until ready.


23. Florida – Henrik Samuelsson, C/RW, Edmonton (WHL) – Son of former Pittsburgh Penguins Ulf Samuelsson, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Samuelsson transitioned quite well to the North American game this past season. While playing 28 games for head coach Derek Laxdal and the Edmonton Oil Kings, Samuelsson scored seven goals and added 16 assists. He also racked up 42 penalty minutes, much to his father’s approval. In 17 playoff games, Samuelsson raised his play, scoring four goals and adding 10 assists, as he helped the Oil Kings capture the 2012 WHL Championship Title. For the Panthers, Samuelsson’s frame would be a welcoming addition. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.


24. Boston – Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville (OHL) – Brother of Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban – a pest to Bruins nation – Malcolm, 18, is more mild mannered that his older sibling. Subban also plays between the pipes, and has the athleticism to be a franchise goaltender. With word that Bruins net-minder Tim Thomas is unsure whether he wants to play in the 2012-13 season, the Bruins might be ready to groom a potential franchise-building goaltender. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Subban, whom scouts compare favorably to Canadiens net-minder Carey Price, posted a 2.50 GAA in 39 games played.


25. St. Louis – Pontus Aberg, LW, Djurgardens (SWE) – A speedster off the far wing, Aberg’s lightning quick first step has already intrigued NHL scouts. The Blues, who are always looking to add quality depth up front to complement a defense that was the stingiest in the entire NHL, allowed a league-low 1.89 goals against per game. Compared favorably to Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Aberg’s offensive awareness is the reason why many project him to be a top-six forward when he comes stateside. The 18-year-old is expected to play for Djurgardens in 2012-13.


26. Vancouver – Colton Sissons, RW, Kelowna (WHL) – Born in Northwest Vancouver, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Sissons would be a popular choice amongst Canucks fans. Projected to play power forward in the NHL, the 18-year-old Sissons is already mature enough to captain his WHL team at age 18. Sissons, who models his game after fellow Canuck Ryan Kesler, plays a similar two-way style alike his future mate. He should be an instant fan favorite.


27. Phoenix – Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa (OHL) – The six-foot, 170-pound Laughton models his two-way game after Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards. In his second season in Oshawa, the 18-year-old Laughton collected 53 points – 21 goals and 32 assists – in 64 games. Projected as a second line center, Laughton might need another year of seasoning to build up his body before joining his brethren in the desert. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Boston’s Brad Marchand, based on his willingness to throw his body around and having the ability to be a thorn in an opponent’s side.


28. N.Y. Rangers – Stefan Matteau, LW, USNTDP (USHL) – A product of the infamous Notre Dame Academy in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound Matteau is projected as a power forward on the NHL level. Matteau, son of former Rangers playoff hero Stephane Matteau, played the past two seasons for the USNTDP juniors, where he collected 19 points in 46 games. He is scheduled to play for Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL in the fall. The 18-year-old’s game compares favorably to current Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. Can a “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau” be in the cards for the 2015 Rangers?


29. New Jersey*(&) - Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (WHL) – The six-foot, 195-pound Thrower is known for his hard-nosed, no nonsense play on the back end. Yet, this past season in Saskatoon, Thrower showed a propensity of being more of an offensive threat. He recorded 54 points – 18 goals and 36 assists – in 66 games. In his first two seasons in Saskatoon, Thrower was only able to muster 27 points in 123 games. Still, Thrower lives and dies with his intensity he brings onto the ice – night in and night out. The 18-year-old has drawn comparisons to Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, and would be a solid replacement to Bryce Salvador, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.


30. Los Angeles* - Scott Kosmachuk, RW, Guelph (OHL) – The six-foot, 185-pound Kosmachuk collected 59 points – 30 goals and 29 assists – in his second full season at the ’O’. Known as a smooth skater with a quick release, Kosmachuk possesses a quick motor that doesn’t stop. Having an opportunity to learn from Kings captain Dustin Brown can’t help but expedite the 18-year-old’s development. He has drawn comparisons to Colorado’s Steve Downie, and should be a potential top-nine forward when he is physically ready to play in the NHL.


* - Pick to be decided between Stanley Cup Winner and Runner-up.


& - Pick might be forfeited after team circumvented the salary cap to resign Ilya Kovalchuk back in the summer of 2010.

Tags: 2012 Draft, News

New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Like every story, there are at least two sides to the drama surrounding John Tavares and his future with the New York Islanders. Let's start with the dark side.

Beyond only certain corners of the New York metropolitan area, the real, hard truth is that it's difficult to find anyone who believes Tavares will sign another long-term contract with the Islanders.

If you were to run into any NHL power broker, influencer, or insider who is unaffiliated with the Islanders and bought them a few shots of Jameson, they might tell you any or all of the following...

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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Adam Pelech brings the puck around the net pursued by Alex Iafallo. (AP)
Adam Pelech brings the puck around the net pursued by Alex Iafallo. (AP)

First Period 

Second Period 

Third Period 

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

As Islanders Scratchpad returns for another season, the New York Islanders are five games into the 2017-18 campaign and sit with 50 percent of possible points (2-2-1). The team will wrap up their west coast swing on Sunday night in Los Angeles. 

 

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New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)
New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)

LW Anthony Beauvillier was a late scratch from the Islanders' lineup on Saturday night against the Sharks. 16-year veteran LW Jason Chimera will take his place.

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier
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 (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders (1-3-0) continue their annual swing through California after falling 3-2 to Anaheim on Wednesday.

"We have to get some pucks in and find a way because these are games that I feel like we should win," coach Doug Weight told the Islanders' official website.

Tags: San Jose Sharks
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Thomas Greiss will get the start in net and Jordan Eberle told reporters that he is ready to play Saturday night against the Sharks. 

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Thomas Greiss
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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

From Scott Gordon to Jack Capuano and now Doug Weight, the legacy continues.

On the MSG postgame show Wednesday night -- almost always the "Happy Recap," win or lose -- Weight talked about how the Islanders "did some great things." Moments after, in speaking with the press, Weight pointed out, "We did a lot of good things on the power play."

The Islanders lost in Anaheim, 3-2. They have won one of their first four games. After going 0-5 last night, Weight's team is now 0-15 on the power play this season...

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Pulock, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak can't stop a goal by Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP )
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak can't stop a goal by Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP )

Brock Nelson scored his first two goals of the season, but the Islanders fell to the Ducks in Anaheim, 3-2, at the Honda Center. >> Read more

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 (Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))
(Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))

Jaroslav Halak will be in goal tonight for the Islanders against the Ducks in Anaheim.

The Isles will use the same skaters as their last game, with Cal Clutterbuck (hip) still not ready to return.

Head coach Doug Weight strongly considered putting Ryan Pulock in the game, but said he's "very happy" with Scott Mayfield's game, according to Art Staple of Newsday.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Pulock
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With the question lingering about where the Islanders will play in the near future, Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said the organization is putting all of its efforts to build an arena at Belmont Park. 

On Tuesday, Ledecky spoke to reporters and said the Islanders plan to play next season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but beyond that, ownership hopes that the team can get their desired arena in Elmont. 

"We are locked and loaded on Belmont," Ledecky said, according to Newsday. "We have blinders on for Belmont. We are not looking at other places or other opportunities. We want to make Belmont a reality. ... The best home and the only home for the New York Islanders moving forward should be the Belmont arena." 

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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

"I believe they are learning. We have a nice five and a half hour plane trip ahead of us and I got about 15 minutes with each of them that will probably end up being 30. They're good kids, good players and have earned their spots. This is big boy hockey and that's a great defensive core over there (St.Louis). They'll figure those things out. They got better as the game went, but had some guys who played pretty well and demanded more ice time. I feel like I can rely on them, put them out in almost any situation. Barzie (Mathew Barzal) has been good, Josh (Ho-Sang) is fine."

Those comments made by Islanders head coach Doug Weight after yesterday's 3-2 come-from-behind shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn tell you something about how he might manage his rookies as the 2017-18 season moves along.

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Andy Graziano
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 (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
(Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO, Brett Yormark, doesn't believe the Islanders stay at the Barclays Center makes any economic sense. 

Yormark recently spoke with Sports Business Daily's John Lombardo about his company, and how the Barclays Center has evolved since its inception five years ago. Everything has gone smoothly for the new arena except for the Islanders, who have not produced the numbers Yormark expected. 

"The economics just don't work," Yormark said. "It's a Long Island team trying to create a fan base in Brooklyn, and to date it has ben met with very modest success andnot at the numbers we have hoped."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Picture ARod going on Fox in the middle of this Yankees playoff series, and saying he hears that Joe Girardi will be fired no matter what. Or Ron Duguay going on MSG Network early in this Rangers season, and declaring that Rick Nash will be traded before Christmas.

This just doesn't happen. Usually, former athletes straddle the line in their broadcast jobs when talking about their old teams.

But this is Islanders Country, where…oh, for once, can everybody just leave this franchise alone?

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock, Chris Botta
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Anders Lee tied the game up at two with a minute left, but the Blues earned the win in the shootout, 3-2, at the Barclays Center >> Read more

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Islanders will carry the same lineup as last game against the Sabres with G Thomas Greiss starting over Jaroslav Halak in net against the Blues at 1 p.m. 

Greiss allowed five goals in the season opener against the Blue Jackets before head coach Doug Weight pulled him with Halak taking over. He gets a shot to redeem himself today. 

Tags: Thomas Greiss
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 (Nicole Sweet)
(Nicole Sweet)

Two teams hoping Saturday night victories were a sign of things to come will square off Monday afternoon when the New York Islanders host the St. Louis Blues in a Columbus Day matinee at Barclays Center.

The Islanders scored three second-period goals in a span of 1:47 in a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Saturday's home opener.

The host Blues, who also played their home opener Saturday, scored the game's first three goals in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

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Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) scores against Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner (40) in the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) scores against Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner (40) in the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

John Tavares scored the game's first two goals to help set the pace for the Islanders in a 6-3 win over the Sabres on Saturday night at the Barclays Center.  >> Read more

Tags: John Tavares
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) shoots past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk (41) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) shoots past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk (41) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders begin their third, most pivotal and possibly even final season of playing home games at Barclays Center on Saturday night. They hope Friday night wasn't a harbinger of things to come.

A pair of teams looking to bounce back from season-opening losses will meet when the Islanders host the Buffalo Sabres.

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 (John Geliebter)
(John Geliebter)

The Islanders also are hoping to make a run at the playoffs this season. They're led by captain John Taveras, who is in the final year of his contract, and they added Jordan Eberle in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers to provide more offense.

"I think we're a little more talented than we've been," Islanders coach Doug Weight said.

The Islanders' top defensive pairing is Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy.

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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

C Josh Ho-Sang will be a healthy scratch (with Jason Chimera in) on Friday night when the Islanders open their season agains tthe Blue Jackets in Columbus at 7 p.m.

Thomas Greiss will start in net over Jaroslav Halak.

On defense, Scott Mayfield is in with Ryan Pulock out.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss
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 (John Geliebter)
(John Geliebter)

The players are no longer getting coffee in the locker room and whispering to each other, "Cappy still here?"

A third goalie isn't being stashed on the roster, and limiting the reps of the excellent No. 1 and 1As, because of the long-shot notion he's the next Patrick Roy.

As a result, and because of the simple fact that they have the player personnel to get it done in a conference that is not steeped in quality, the Islanders will qualify for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs...

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Chris Botta
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 (Paul Sancya/AP)
(Paul Sancya/AP)

Former Islander Mike Bossy thinks the team willl deal pending free agent and captain John Tavares if the team isn't in the mix around Christmas.

"If the Islanders are no longer in the run-up to Christmas," Bossy said, according to 91.9 Sports, "it's sure that Tavares is gone!" 

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter : Bossy, who no longer works in the Islanders organization, doing only spot-duty on behalf of Barclays Center, has pulled no punches over the course of the past year when discussing Tavares' potential departure from the only team he has ever known...

 

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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders head coach Doug Weight not only has high hopes for Nick Leddy this year, but he also believes the defenseman can become one of the elite players in the entire league. 

Leddy, who finished last season with 46 points (11 goals, 35 assists), is entering his fourth season with the Islanders and eighth in the league. Weight believes he can only get better this year. 

"He should be in the conversation for those [All-Star] teams and Norris Trophies," Weight told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "He can skate, he can shoot, he's a savvy player as well. Maybe he doesn't have the deception of a [Brent] Burns or a [Erik] Karlsson, but there's probably three people in the world that do so I wouldn't hold that against him. He's right there in that upper echelon of D and he's going to be big for us this year for sure."

Tags: Nick Leddy
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Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) (Brad Penner)
Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) (Brad Penner)

The Islanders open up their 2017-18 season on Friday night in Columbus. How will the season shake out? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…


Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. We're on the precipice of a new season, and everyone is curious how this campaign will go for the Islanders. Is it me, or are the outlooks that are rolling in for this team all over the map?

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders Point Blank founder and former SNY contributor Chris Botta will be back with us this season, posting multiple columns each week.


When we last left off about five years ago, the New York Islanders were a franchise without a long-term home -- a team entering each season merely yearning to grab one of the final playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

While many faces - including the latest batch of intriguing young players - have changed, in the big picture, not a lot else has.

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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony Beauvillier scored twice in New York's preseason finale as the Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:21 PHI Michael Raffl; Assists: Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier
  • 13:10 NYI Dennis Seidenberg; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta

Second period:

  • 2:22 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Devon Toews, Joshua Ho-Sang
  • 3:07 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Casey Cizikas, Adam Pelech

Third period

  • 0:32 NYI Beauviller (power play); Assists: Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock
  • 6:32 PHI Wayne Simmonds (power play); Assists: Shayne Gostisbehere, Jakub Voracek
  • 19:36 NYI Steve Bernier (ENG)
Tags: Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Josh Ho-Sang, Philadelphia Flyers, Stephen Gionta
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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

Anders Lee had two points, Mathew Barzal had three points and Jordan Eberle added the go-ahead goal in the second period to lead the Islanders to a 3-1 win over Sabres on Friday evening at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. >> Read more

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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

After years of veterans seemingly playing without fear of repercussions -- even over younger players who might have been out-performing their elder counterparts -- the Islanders find themselves entering the 2017-18 season under new leadership and counting on an infusion of young talent more than ever.

Doug Weight, speaking to the media on Wednesday after practice, said Mathew Barzal has done enough to make the team coming out of training camp. Weight is also happy with Ryan Pulock's preseason, even though he did add the caveat, "there's a pretty darn good battle going on back there for starting jobs" (via Brian Compton, NHL.com on Twitter).

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have submitted "a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination" at Belmont Park, NY, reports Jim Baumbach of Newsday. Bidders had until today to submit a proposal.

The Islanders can opt out of the remaining 23 years on their lease with Barclays Center in January. Barclays Center is reportedly unhappy with the Islanders as tenants, and the team has been seeking other options.

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV TwitterWhat was the worst kept secret in the NHL and all across New York and its surrounding suburbs became reality today.

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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

The Islanders are just 10 days away from Opening Night, and the roster is beginning to take shape. What will the 23-man squad look like? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...


Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Welcome back to another season of Shooting from Point Blank Range, my man. We had lots of fun with this last year, so let's kick this season off by taking a look at the 'almost' final 23-man roster, which needs to be finalized by 5:00 p.m. on October 3. With some cuts already made, and Bridgeport camp underway, you can make some strong assertions of who will make the team and who won't. Any thoughts on how it's shaping up?

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Islanders RW Josh Ho-Sang supports the NFL and NBA players who took action following President Trump's comments about kneeling during the national anthem. 

Being a Canadian, Ho-Sang can't relate to the athletes personally. But he does support their protest because they are standing up for what they believe in. 

"I think what the NFL players are doing is amazing. It's good that they're all sticking together," Ho-Sang told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "I mean, I'm Canadian, so I don't have too much input on the matter itself. It will affect me living in the States, but the biggest thing is it's unfortunate that the message may have gotten lost a little. Now it's becoming a battle between the NFL and the president and originally [the protests] started because of police brutality and the mistreatment of different races."

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

If training camp ended right now, Mat Barzal would break the team with the big club.

After the Islanders' 3-0 preseason victory over the Devils on Monday night, head coach Doug Weight was asked, based on what he's seen so far, if Barzal would make the team. 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts: I think we all wanted to see more of what Barzal could do when he got his look with the Isles early last year. But he seemed tentative in the mere two games he cracked the lineup, and with the team struggling, Jack Capuano didn't exhibit much patience before Barzal was ultimately sent back to Juniors.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal recorded first period goals for the Islanders and they held serve the rest of the way to topple the Devils in a split squad game, 3-0. >> Read more

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

As the regular draws closer, the Islanders announced they have slimmed their training camp roster to 31 players. 

Michael Dal Colle was among the players cut from pro camp, as he was assigned to the AHL squad. The fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft tallied 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 75 games with the Sound Tigers last year. He has yet to play in a regular-season NHL game. 

The team sent 11 others to the AHL, placed four players on waivers and cut six players on professional tryout contracts. 

Below is a full breakdown of the moves:

Tags: Michael dal Colle
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows has agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal, the team announced Friday.

The 19-year-old, who is the son of former NHL All-Star Brian Bellows, was the Isles' first-round selection (19th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

He had seven goals and seven assists in 34 games last year during his freshman season at Boston University.

Bellows also scored two goals on eight shots in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championships against Canada this past January, which the Americans won in a shootout, 5-4.

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Doug Weight
Doug Weight

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders are preparing to open their first full season under head coach Doug Weight in 2017-18, looking to return to the playoffs after coming within a point of making a third straight appearance last year.

What we have seen out of Weight during his 40-game run in 2016-17 and so far this summer has been a drastic change from his predecessor, Jack Capuano.

Practices are harder and more up-tempo with a clear focus on physicality and cardiovascular work. He doesn't seem shy about giving his young players responsibility and an avenue to succeed. He has brought a relaxed, casual yet business like feel to the dressing room, with the ability to reach and communicate with his players on a more personal level...

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 (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

In split squad games against the Flyers, the Islanders earned a 3-2 win at home while dropping an overtime decision of the same score on the road. >> Read more


Islanders-Flyers Game 1 (PPL Center)

First Period: 

  • 2:24 NYI: Matthew Barzal (Power Play); Assists: Joshua Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock
Tags: Philadelphia Flyers
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Barclays Center has been criticized for having poor ice by certain players since the Islanders became tenants two years ago, but captain John Tavares, is trying not to analyze it too much. 

"I don't try to think about it a whole lot, I think the more you worry about it the more kind of gets in your head,'' Tavares told Newsday on Tuesday afternoon. "It's obvious we're not playing in a traditional rink that was built for hockey. "They've done a lot of work just to make it playable for us over the last couple of years, just trying to make the conditions as best as possible with what you can do." 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Corey Pronman is the NHL prospects writer at The Athletic. I recently had a chance to sit down with him and get his impressions on the Islanders' system, including some of the players who are soon expected to graduate to the big club. Here's what he had to say on some of the team's top youngsters...

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield skates by New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield skates by New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders lost to the New York Rangers 1-0 on Neal Pionk's overtime goal on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more

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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano: SNY.TV: 

The New York Islanders missed the Stanley Cup playoffs last season by one point, in large part due to starting the season 6-10-4. The points that teams bank earlier in the season come home to roost when the hockey season hits games Nos. 50, 60, 70 and beyond.

Although the Islanders recorded 58 points over their final 45 games last year, their slow start cost them. Whether the fault belongs to the players, former head coach Jack Capuano, the special teams or another factor, the result -- a spring and summer spent watching other teams battle for perhaps the most prestigious trophy in sports -- is done.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts: There's this moment when you get off the Meadowbrook Parkway and merge onto Charles Lindbergh Boulevard that you catch your first glimpse of the Nassau Coliseum on the horizon. At this point in my life, I have seen it so many times that it had become old hat. But on Sunday, as it appeared in the distance, the modern new steel slats created such a stark contrast against a bright September sky that it caught me off guard.

I hadn't been to the Nassau Coliseum since Game 6 of the first round of the 2015 playoffs, when I left it in my rearview mirror, tears in my eyes, after the Islanders' 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. I hadn't even seen it since. So when the gussied up exterior initially shocked my system, I wasn't sure what to expect.

But as I'd learn throughout the day, this was the same Old Barn I left 27 months earlier. No amount of steel or paint could change that...

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Philadelphia Flyers right wing Philippe Myers (61) during the second period of a preseason game at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Philadelphia Flyers right wing Philippe Myers (61) during the second period of a preseason game at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Recap

John Tavares scored the Islanders' first and final goal of the game to lead the Islanders to a 3-2 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the first preseason game of the season. >> Read more 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The summer is over. Fall has arrived and with it, the return of the NHL. Training camps around the league will all be open for business soon, with the first on-ice sessions slated to begin Friday morning.

For the Islanders, it seems every year lately has been 'make or break,' for a variety of reasons. This year, however, the term might never be more accurate as the team looks to re-sign their franchise captain, finally bring some closure to a long, drawn out arena drama and return to the playoffs. The results of those three factors, each under their own cloud of uncertainty, could also decide the future fate of long-tenured general manager Garth Snow, who seems to be running out of time to turn this team into a true contender.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Islanders D Alan Quine is out 4-6 weeks due to an upper body injury, the team announced Tuesday.

A sixth-round pick by the Isles back in 2013, Quine played his first full season in the NHL last year. He notched 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 61 games. 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It's a tough blow for Quine, who really could have used the training camp to make an impression on Doug Weight. But for one of the younger players in camp (namely guys like Matt Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier), Quine's misfortune creates a huge opportunity.

Tags: Alain Quine
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The Islanders returned to the renovated Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday for the start of Rookie Camp practice.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE

 

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