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.”
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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.
For the first time in a long time, Friday was Scott Pellerin’s first day on the job. The Sound Tigers new head coach has over 850 professional games as a player and six years as an assistant coach with the Manchester Monarchs under his belt, but Friday’s practice to open Training Camp marked his first day as an AHL head coach.
“It’s great to finally get on the ice, put on a track suit with the Sound Tigers logo and watch our players skate and do their testing,” Pellerin said, following the Sound Tigers first on-ice workouts at training camp at Iceworks on Long Island. “We’ve got so much support here from the Islanders and it’s great to get started.”
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.”
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from this morning's fitness testing and player headshots.
Players were up early this morning, and jumped on a 6:30 a.m. bus to Islanders Iceworks, where they did physical evaluations and headshots. Everyone did baseline psychological examinations and fitness testing, which included a vertical leap, chin ups and a “chest pass” exercise where the players threw a five-pound ball from a seated position.
After a meal and a couple hours of testing for each individual, the players hit the ice for even more testing, including acceleration and endurance exercises.
|Defenseman Ty Wishart and forward Matt Watkins chat after checking in at the team hotel Thursday|
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers open Training Camp Friday morning, meaning Thursday was check-in day at the team hotel. Players arrived throughout the day, bags in hand, and their equipment was taken to Iceworks in preparation for Friday.
The Islanders announced today that Saturday’s 10 a.m. practice will be open to the public. Sound Tigers forwards Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom will sign autographs and take pictures afterward. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Sound Tigers also released their Training Camp roster today. They will break camp with 16 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. CLICK HERE to view the training camp roster.
On Friday, players will do physicals, take headshots and do a skating test at Iceworks. Check this space for updates throughout Sound Tigers Training Camp.