Quick recap of Day 2:
Not so early today. Goalies were on the ice first again starting at 10:00 a.m. Just like yesterday, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, and Anders Nilsson worked out with Goaltending Coach Sudsie Marharaj, Goaltending Consultant Mike Dunham, Sound Tigers Head Coach Brent Thompson, and assistants Matt Bertani and Eric Boguniecki.
All players were on the ice at 11, and then again at 12:10 p.m. after an ice cut.
Practice finished at 1 p.m.
Coaches went with the same lines and d-pairings as yesterday.
Rhett Rakhshani-David Ullstrom-Justin DiBenedetto; Nino Niederreiter-Ryan Strome-Tyler McNeely; Kirill Kabanov-Casey Cizikas-John Persson; Brett Gallant-Tony Romano-Mitchell Theoret
D-pairings: Mark Katic-Calvin de Haan; Matt Donovan-Aaron Ness; Andrey Pedan-Art Bidlevskii; Brenden Kichton-Benn Olson.
Judging by their faces, the rookies were noticeably more focused today.
Notes: Mark Katic, attending his fifth rookie camp, said he knows it’s time to shine. “Being an older player you are definitely looking to stand out more than if you were 17 or 18 years old.” Katic was called up from Bridgeport twice last season and played in 11 games with one assist.
Concerning the scrimmages against the Boston prospects Monday and Tuesday, Katic says hopes to show Isles management something. “I want to play a good game tomorrow and the next day, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing that.”
On the lighter side: As he was taking the ice after the it was cut, Katic, who was aiming to be the first on the ice, told Islanders assistant coach Scott Allen: “I’m not a follower.” But as he looked up, he noticed he had been beaten by Sound Tigers teammate Justin DiBenedetto and said, “Oh. I guess I am a follower.”
Pictures and other behind-the-scenes content is posted to Twitter as it happens. Click here to follow @NYIslanders.
More stories and video to be published shortly.
POSTED ON Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 1:54 PM
Click the photo of David Ullstrom, Justin DiBenedetto and Mikko Koskinen from Day 2 of Rookie Camp to view a gallery.
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 4:10 PM
This time last year, Nino Niederreiter arrived on Long Island for his first Rookie Camp. In his first exhibition game for the blue and orange, he showed heart; he not only did he score a goal, but also had his first career fight. Most of all, the Swiss power forward impressed Islanders management enough to receive an invitation to Islanders Training Camp.
But this season, Niederreiter comes to camp with a new outlook.
“Last year, I was way more nervous,” Niederreiter said. “I didn’t know what to expect... I think I definitely feel better this year.”
Despite his nerves, he made enough of an impression to play the first nine games of the Islanders 2010-11 season. And while it’s every player’s dream to make it to the National Hockey League, Niederreiter isn’t going to get ahead of himself.
When asked if he’s thought about his chances of making the team this season, he said, “I’ve got to take it step by step, then we’ll see how it goes.”
In the off season, Niederreiter took steps to improve his skating.
“I went to a power skating camp," Niederreiter said. I think I improved a lot. The first three steps is definitely something I could improve. I worked hard.”
Easing back into the locker room with the rest of the rookies, Niederreiter said he’s glad to be back.
“It was good to see all of the boys back,” Niederreiter said. “Everybody’s excited for the rookie games. I’ve got to say the ice was a little soft out there so it was little tough to handle the puck, but I think it was good first practice.”
Niederreiter wasn’t the only one who had a good first day. Ryan Strome, the Islanders fifth overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft is back for his second camp on Long Island, though he knows this one carries a bit more weight.
“This is what we train for all summer,” Strome said. “This is the big camp.”
While he hopes to make a good impression at camp, Strome said he knows making it to the NHL is an uphill battle.
“I just know there’s a long ways to go still,” Strome said. “There are a lot of solid caliber players, just like the last camp. There’s a lot of older guys, a lot of skill guys and guys who are really big. It’s a chance for me to take what I learned in the pro atmosphere out here. I have a taste of what it’s like and now I have to try to adopt that to my everyday life.”
Playing in the exhibition games is something he’s looking forward to.
“I just want to make myself a better player,” Strome said. “It’s a good chance for me to prove myself. We’re going to be playing against the Boston rookies. There are a lot of good players there as well.”
When it comes to the Bruins rookies, Strome has an advantage over some of the other Islanders prospects. Boston’s ninth overall pick, Dougie Hamilton, is Strome’s teammate and good friend from the Niagra IceDogs.
“I haven’t made any bets with him,” Strome said of Hamilton. “We’ll see what happens. I’ll text him tonight and see what he says.”
Whether a bet transpires or not, Strome said he’s looking forward to playing against another team’s future talent.
“It will be a lot of fun to compare yourself and play against some other good talent but also earn your spot in the next camp,” Strome said.
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 3:25 PM
The Islanders rookies wasted no time on their first day of camp Saturday. Players arrived at Nassau Coliseum for 7 a.m. physicals and just a few short hours later, the 25 attendees were on the ice for their first session.
“It’s great to be back,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “We saw a lot of these kids in July, but knowing that they have (exhibition) games Monday and Tuesday - a couple days of practice is more exciting now.”
With two exhibitions against the Boston Bruins prospects set for Monday and Tuesday, the Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers coaches got right down to business with a pretty intense practice. Trying to build some chemistry right from the get go, lines were already set and working together.
It’s hard to believe just a few short months have passed since Mini Camp in July.
“A couple of months ago they came in and they didn’t know one another,” Capuano said. “It was a good opportunity for guys to interact and learn a little bit about Long Island and have some fun.”
But Mini Camp and Rookie Camp are two different animals.
“Now it’s game on,” Capuano said. “We’ve told them that these (exhibition) games are very important, compete levels are going to be at a high, the desperation and determination to play at a high level. We’ll try to give them a few systems, you can’t cover everything in two days, but give them a few things to go out and play.”
Undoubtedly, the team will be watched from all points on the ice, as well as from the stands. Rookie Camp is a precursor to the team’s main Training Camp, which begins Friday. These next few days are the prospects last opportunity to show management that they deserve an invitation.
Capuano has yet to talk to Islanders General Manager Garth Snow about dates for first cuts, but said, “I’m sure that’s something we’ll talk about over the next week, but we plan on giving guys a long look. I’m sure guys will be around a little while.”
Last September, Capuano had yet to be appointed to Head Coach of the Islanders so his role at camp was slightly different. Although, he became comfortable with a system that worked for him last season and after a summer of reflection, he said he’s not going to deviate from how he did things in the second half.
As for camp, he said, “Obviously every coach runs their camp a little differently, conditioning is big with me. There might be some things that we change up, but we’re going to build that foundation early and build toward (opening night) October 8th.”
So who from rookie camp could be on the Islanders roster come opening night? Capuano’s keeping all eyes open.
“I can tell you that we are going to take a look at everybody,” Capuano said. “But the guys from Bridgeport, some of the veteran guys, it’s their time now too. They’ve played in the minors now a couple of years and they know what we are about and what we are looking for. It’s going to be important for them to step it up in this camp if they want a chance to make our hockey team.”
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 2:14 PM
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 2:10 PM
Click the photo of Ryan Strome, Tyler McNeely, Nino Niederreiter and Andrey Pedan from Day 1 of Rookie Camp to view a gallery.
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 1:44 PM
Quick rundown of Day 1:
-Players arrived at 7 a.m. for headshots and physicals.
-Goalies Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, and Anders Nilsson took the ice at 11 a.m. with Goaltending Coach Sudsie Marharaj, Goaltending Consultant Mike Dunham, Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson, and assistants Matt Bertani and Eric Boguniecki.
-All players were on ice for practice by 11:50 a.m.
Lines from today:
Rhett Rakhshani, David Ullstrom, Justin DiBenedetto; Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Strome, Tyler McNeely; Kirill Kabanov, Casey Cizikas, Jjohn Persson; Brett Gallant, Tony Romano, Mitchell Theoret.
Mark Katic, Calvin de Haan; Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness; Andrey Pedan, Art Bidlevskii; Brenden Kichton, Benn Olson.
In media availability after practice, Kirill Kabanov briefly mentioned the loss of friends in the Lokomotiv tragedy on Wednesday. He has just returned from his university in Russia where there was a small memorial. "It's a big loss to Russian hockey," he said.
He added that "it's pretty hard to think about hockey after that."
More stories to come from Day 1. The lines, along with behind the scenes pictures are posted to Twttier in real time. If you're not following us, now's the time @NYIslanders.
POSTED ON Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 6:46 AM
The first day of rookie camp is an early one. The Islanders players have a call time of 7 a.m. (Isles staff had to be in at 6:30, but who's counting?)
First thing up for the rookies this morning is headshots for MSG. Then the guys get in some physicial-type off-ice activities. At 11 a.m., they will hit the ice.
The rookies jump right into game action with two rookie games against the Bruins rookies on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday's game is open to the public. Tickets are $10, and will benefit the Islanders Children's Foundation. Click here to purchase tickets.
We will be updating this blog and twitter @NYIslanders with pictures and stories from the day.
Finally, hockey is here!