Check out the videos from Wednesday's practice, before the team left for its first preseason game in Providence.
David Ullstrom post-practice:
Despite leading the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in goals last year, David Ullstrom cannot afford to rest on his laurels. His 24 tallies in 2011-12 turned heads around the AHL, and he challenged for the league lead for much of the season.
Ullstrom’s goal totals are especially remarkable when you consider he played 29 games in the NHL with the Islanders. The Jonkoping, SWE native was with the parent club down the stretch last season, scoring four goals and four assists. Now he finds himself in Sound Tigers Training Camp with the task of proving that he's an elite scorer once again, this time to Head Coach Scott Pellerin and the rest of the coaching staff.
“He’s one of the guys who has impressed me the most,” Pellerin said. “He’s really brought his conditioning to another level and handled his offseason training like a true professional. His skating tests as well as his off-ice testing were off the charts. You can really see the commitment level.”
Perhaps it was the work ethic nearly every pro athlete has to have to make it to the top, and maybe it was the taste of the NHL that fueled Ullstrom to take his conditioning to another level this summer. Whether it’s in the NHL or AHL, the third-year pro has clear goals in mind.
More video of camp, this time from Tuesday.
Kevin Poulin mic'd up during goalie practice:
Brock Nelson post-practice:
Matt Donovan post-practice:
Nino Niederreiter has a history of putting up points. Whether it’s on Swiss national teams or on his junior club, the Portland Winterhawks, Niederreiter has been counted on to produce. During two seasons in Portland he totaled 130 points (77 goals, 53 assists) in 120 games, playing in all different situations while earning first line minutes.
Last season’s self-admitted disappointment of one goal in 55 NHL games is behind him now, and he is at Bridgeport Sound Tigers Training Camp, where he’s preparing to log heavy, important minutes once again.
“Obviously it’s going to help me a lot,” Niederreiter said of an increased role with the Sound Tigers. “It’s a great opportunity to prove myself. I know what kind of player I am. I know what kind of player I want to be, so I’m excited for that opportunity and to learn from the great coaching staff here.”
Check out the video below from Monday's practice at Iceworks
Ty Wishart mic'd up:
Time lapse video of Monday's practice:
Coming off a “prove it” year in the Western Hockey League, forward John Persson is primed to be an impact rookie for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2012-13.
The Ostersund, SWE native tallied 61 points in 2010-11 with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League leading into his draft year. While some may have seen his numbers as a product of playing with 2011 No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Persson slipped to the fifth round, where the Islanders took him 125th overall – the winger put any doubts to rest with a team-leading 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists) in 2011-12 sans Nugent-Hopkins.
“I was a grinder, trying to get pucks to him,” Persson said of playing with Nugent-Hopkins. “Last year, when he was gone, I was relied on more for points. I was on the power play and on the half-boards instead of in front of the net. That was really good for my development.”
On the surface, Sound Tigers goaltenders Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson have a lot in common. They were born 24 days apart in the spring of 1990. Both grew up playing hockey and developed an affinity for standing in the way of vulcanized rubber traveling at high speeds. Both were drafted by the Islanders organization and played well enough in their first professional seasons (Poulin in 2010-11, Nilsson in 2011-12) to earn a call-up to the NHL. Both got hot and won AHL Goaltender of the Month honors last season with Bridgeport (Poulin in January, Nilsson in February).
They handed the baton back and forth past season, combining to play 4384 of the team's 4612 minutes en route to a Northeast Division Championship. Now, both are in Sound Tigers Training Camp to once again push each other to the next level in the crease.
“We’re both young guys, we’re the same age - it’s competition," Nilsson said. "You know you need to be prepared every day you go to the ice. You can’t take a day off. If you have a couple games where you’re off, you know he’s going to play the next game. I probably make him play at a higher level because he makes me play at a higher level.”
WATCH ALL VIDEOS
Tomorrow, the players are headed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey for a team-building exercise. IslesTV will be on the scene shooting the must-see video.
CLICK HERE for full photo gallery.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers opened their 2012 Training Camp on Friday morning at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset. Players gathered for the first time as a unit, taking medical exams and shaking hands with new teammates. First-year Head Coach Scott Pellerin the reigns of a team that won the Northeast Division in 2011-12, and is equipped with enough talent to repeat.
The 2012-13 version will feature many carryovers from last season’s team, but also plenty of new faces. For Brock Nelson, Kirill Kabanov, Johan Sundstrom and five other rookies, their North American professional hockey careers begin with this year’s Sound Tigers Training Camp.
This year marks Nelson’s first professional camp after playing the last two seasons at the University of North Dakota. Nelson appeared in six regular season and playoff games for the Sound Tigers last spring after concluding his collegiate season. That experience should benefit him as he tries to make an impact in his first year in the AHL.
“It was good to get out there and get a taste for the pro game, get used to the pace and meet some of the guys,” Nelson said. “Now I want to prove that I had a good summer and develop as a player mentally, physically and work on all aspects of my game.”