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JOHAN HALVARDSSON READY TO CRACK LINEUP

Friday, 07.14.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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JOHAN HALVARDSSON READY TO CRACK LINEUP
The Oldest Player at Camp Still Going Strong

By Jason Lockhart

Johan Halvardsson is back at the Islanders development camp for the first time since 1999, when he was drafted in the fourth round 102nd overall.

At 26, he is the oldest player at this year's mid-summer camp, but he doesn't look that way on the ice. His smooth skating is reminiscent of former Swedish Islander D-man Kenny Jonsson.

Halvardsson has been playing the past eight years with Jonkoping of the Swedish Elite League, but after signing a new contract with the Islanders he felt like he should come back to Long Island and train with the Islanders prospects.

"I feel much more comfortable at this year's camp," said the 6-4 Swede. "This camp has been much better for me."

Halvardsson, who remembers rooming with Gino Odjick at the 1999 camp in Lake Placid, said he likes the atmosphere at this camp better than the one in 1999.

"This year it's more like a team," said Halvardsson. "At Lake Placid you were more by yourself. This year we are together all day. It's been good times."

With the newest acquisitions of talented defensemen Brendan Witt and Tom Poti it will make earning a spot with the Islanders a little tougher, but Halvardsson is optimistic about making the team.

When asked what it would take to crack the Islanders lineup Halvardsson joked: "I'm a stay-at-home defenseman, so don't let any goals in."

Halvardsson admits that there were a couple of years he took some time off from the game and wanted to quit all together to play golf.

"I realized after being out of the game for a while I missed it," said Halvardsson. "I loved the game and decided to come back and be even better than before."

From his stats with Jonkoping in the Swedish Elite League - no more than two goals in a season - it's apparent that Halvardsson's game does not focus on the offensive side, rather he has honed the defensive defenseman role.

Halvardsson's style of play isn't precisely geared for the development camp's scrimmages, which are played with no hitting, but that didn't stop him from using his physical presence on a few players rushing up the ice. In one instance, Robert Nilsson flew down the right wing on Halvardsson, but Halvardsson got his big body in the way and took Nilsson to the ground.

"I like playing the North American game more," said Halvardsson. "I have a physical game and the smaller rinks keep the guys closer and make it easier to hit them."

After the Islanders development camp wraps up, Halvardsson will head back to hometown Jonkoping, Sweden for the rest of the summer. Halvardsson knows that you don't make the team in July, so he'll have the rest of the summer to train in order to prepare for training camp in September, when the final decisions are made.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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