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5:20 pm: After the first day of practice at training camp, it was made crystal clear that the Islanders are going to do what's best for their most promising young defensemen. And for the Islanders. Asked if there were any available jobs on defense, Scott Gordon segued into a discussion about 2009 first round pick Calvin de Haan and 2008 second-rounder Travis Hamonic. "To make our club, they have to be in our top four," said Gordon. He then spoke of the potential of de Haan logging big minutes in Oshawa of the OHL and Hamonic with Bridgeport of the AHL.


So if there was any doubt the Islanders will develop these talented prospects the proper way when they signed depth defenseman Milan Jurcina - bringing the total of blueline one-way contracts to eight - there should be little now. Gordon's comment appears to narrow the list of top young prospects the Islanders will consider rushing keeping this season down to one: Nino Niederreiter. Comments.

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