Cammarata, Bischoff Developing Together

Sunday, 07.13.2014 / 1:45 PM
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2014 Islanders Mini Camp
Cammarata, Bischoff Developing Together

It has been a whirlwind year for Taylor Cammarata and Jake Bischoff.

The Islanders draft picks both completed their freshman seasons at the University of Minnesota, coming within one win of a national championship.

They are learning the college game and developing at one of the nation’s top hockey programs. And for a couple of native Minnesotans, playing for the State of Hockey’s top amateur team is thrill and a privilege in itself.

“I’ve been going to games my entire life, so now that I am playing there it’s pretty cool,” Cammarata said this week at Islanders Mini Camp. “A lot of guys dream about this stuff and it has kind of come true.”

Cammarata’s limited stature, 5’7, 156 lbs., didn’t disrupt his offensive production, as he scored 27 points (10G, 17A) in 39 games. The Minneapolis native also showcased himself on the biggest stage, potting a goal in the National Championship game against Union College.

“He is able to create offense even when it looks like the play is dead,” Bischoff said of Cammarata. “He’s a special player like that. He’s really fun to watch.”

Although the Gophers had a solid year, the transition to college hockey didn’t come without its challenges for either player.

The college competition is bigger, stronger and faster and the talent pool is a lot deeper, according to Bischoff. He noted that in high school, there are usually one or two standout players per team, but in college, “everyone knows how to play.”

“You go from being one of the top guns on your team to fighting to play every night,” Bischoff said. “It was a change for me, but I really enjoyed it.”

Bischoff scored seven points (three goals, four assists) in 28 games on the blue line. He played a different role in college than he was accustomed to, but knows that he can earn ice time and more offensive opportunities with experience, hard work and steady development.

“We have a really good defensive coach – Mike Guentzel – and I think he taught me a lot,” Bischoff said. “Things like how to use my stick, how to play the body, how to do things in my own end. That really helped me a lot.”

Unlike international and junior prospects, college athletes don’t attend NHL training camp in September. Both players have relished mini camp for the chance to work under the watchful eyes of the Islanders coaches, while also measuring themselves against the prospect pool.

“The camp has been a blast,” Bischoff said. “They set us up really well here with the hotel and meals.

As mini camp closed this weekend, the duo packed up their maroon and gold Gophers bags, confident in what they showed Islanders management and coaches and eager to attack their sophomore seasons.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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