Overall it was a success for everyone one involved. The players enjoyed the chance to play a competitive game, the fans got to see hockey in july and the Islanders were able to get 4,000 fans to come to Nassau Coliseum in the middle of summer.
As for evaluating talent during Thursday night's scrimmage -- or for that matter during the course of the week long mini camp -- it is always a challenge. These camps are for the coaches to learn a little bit about the players and instill in them a little bit of what NHL life is like. For the players it's the same thing. They are getting to know the organization and learning what it takes to be a pro athlete.
The scrimmage is the first real chance to see how the prospects play in a competitive situation, but even then it's hard to make any concrete assessments. With just two days of practice how comfortable can everyone be with one another yet.
Having said all that, I did jot down some notes and observations from the scrimmage:
- Michael Dal Colle played well his time in an Islander uniform. He had an assist on the goal by Robbie Russo early in the game. You had a little bit of a sense of the speed that he has on the ice. It was a also noticeable in practice the previous days. He saw the ice well on Thursday night and made some good plays.
- Joshua Ho-Sang stood out offensively, especially during his breakaway goal he scored in the second half of the scrimmage. "I kind of got the puck off a turnover. The D was flatfooted and I know I'm pretty fast, so I just poked it around them and took off," he said about the highlight reel goal. His speed was something that has been easy to see during the last three days, as well as his puck handling ability. One "negative" thing, and make of it what you will, was in one instance he was slow to get back to the defensive zone, but on a "positive" note in another instance he blocked two or three shots in a row.
- Defensively no one really jumped out. That's not a negative comment, but defensively the D-men did their jobs. Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock played well. Obviously Reinhart is the defenseman everyone has been watching the closest since he has the best chance of making the Islanders this season, But I couldn't really jot anything down negative or positive about him Thursday night.
- You could tell some of the younger prospects and camp invitees were nervous through the course of the scrimmage. Playing in an NHL building and in front of NHL fans can be a bit nerve wracking. Plus having only two days to get comfortable with your teammates also factored into the scrimmage. Breakouts weren't as clean as they could be and players looked out of place at times, but hey it was a scrimmage during mini camp in July.
Mike Halmo - Alan Quine - Joshua Ho-Sang
Yuri Terao - Chris Makowski - Tommaso Bucci
Alex Grive - Austin Cangelosi - Ryan Siiro
Nicholas Jones - Dylan Gambrell - John Schiavo
Ryan Pulock - Griffin Reinhart
Adam Pellech - Jesse Grahm
Loic Leduc - Jake Bischoff
Victor Crus-Rydberg - Michael Dal Colle - Taylor Cammarata
Steve Swavely - Thomas Ebbing - Sam Herr
Woody Hudson - Connor Graham - Ty Loney
Liam Ferguson - Evan Polei - Michael Marnell
Andrey Pedan - Scott Mayfield
Jake Rutt - Kyle Burroughs
Ville Pokka - Kevin Czuczman