My Islanders Account


  • RSS

LI Boys reunite at Isles Mini-Camp

KJ Tiefenwerth, Danny Linell and Dan O'Donoghue all crossed paths at some point in their hockey careers on Long Island

Friday, 07.15.2011 / 4:23 PM ET / News
By Brian Croce
Share with your Friends

LI Boys reunite at Isles Mini-Camp
Many of the Islanders prospects attending mini-camp this week are getting their first look at Long Island. The players went to Huntington for a fishing trip on Monday, tonight they’ll see a Mets game at Citi Field and Sunday they hit the beach, but some of the players got to know Long Island well before mini-camp.

Danny Linell, K.J. Tiefenwerth and Dan O’Donoghue are all native Long Islanders experiencing their first NHL mini-camp this week. Practicing on a professional level for the first time can be nerve-racking for a young adult, but when Tiefenwerth received his invitation to camp, he was excited to see familiar names that would be attending camp as well.

KJ Tiefenwerth about to take the ice at Nassau Coliseum for Islanders Mini-Camp on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
“I grew up playing against Danny (Linell),” Tiefenwerth, a Bellmore native said. “He was never on my team, but always one of the best players on the team we played against. I saw the roster of people who got invited and it was good to see a name I knew.”

Linell and Tiefenwerth are both committed to play at Boston College next year and have been playing on the same line all week at mini-camp. The two are sure to be seeing a lot of each other in the near future, but for Tiefenwerth, seeing his old pal O’Donoghue has been one of the highlights of his week.

“I grew up playing roller hockey with him (O’Donoghue) when we were eight,” Tiefenwerth said. “I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, so we’ve been hanging out a lot lately.”

Linell, a Great Neck native, said he had some butterflies in his stomach before camp started Monday, but once he arrived at the Coliseum, he almost instantly felt better.

“Coming in I was a bit nervous since this is my first mini-camp, but the guys and the staff around here make you feel real comfortable,” Linell said. “I know a few of the guys from Long Island, here so it’s been a really good experience.”

The way the practices have run this week are slightly different than what many of the players are used to. O’Donoghue hails from Port Jefferson Station and is getting his first taste of what it takes to a professional hockey player this week, but it’s an adjustment he is eager to learn.

“The practices have been pretty tough, high-tempo and high-paced,” O’Donoghue said. “It’s been good to get back on the ice. Everyone here is really talented so it’s good competing with this level of play. It’s been tough, but at the same time really fun.”

All three players will be playing on the White Team at Saturday’s Blue and White Scrimmage & Skills Competition. O’Donoghue will be playing on a line with fellow Long Islanders Ben Rosen and Stephen Alonge and he will have supporters in the crowd tomorrow who are almost as excited about the game as he is.

Dan O'Donoghue about to take the ice at Nassau Coliseum for Islanders Mini-Camp on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
“It’s a family thing,” he said “They’ve been there for me the whole way, so it pays off for them too. It’s good to see them excited about something like this.

Linell is also expecting a large cheering section for Saturday’s game.

“I know they’re really excited to come watch the scrimmage on Saturday night, so it’s like a dream come true for them as well as it is for me,” Linell said.

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said the players’ parents in attendance tomorrow night are a major reason why their sons were invited to camp.

“It’s a tribute to their parents that dedicated themselves going to the rink very early in the morning and taking their kids to practice, to their youth hockey coaches, to their high school coaches,” Capuano said. “For the kids that are here, obviously this is a thrill for them to be able to come to the Coliseum and play with our guys.”

Tiefenwerth is excited to play in front of the hometown crowd on Saturday and is glad he’s attending his first professional mini-camp so close to home – his parents are too.

“They (parents) were excited when I got invited especially because it was the Islanders and they can come watch the game on Saturday,” he said. “They told me to go out and have fun with it and don’t be too nervous.”

Along with Linell, Tiefenwerth and O’Donoghue, there are four additional Long Island natives attending camp this week. Capuano is excited to see them in action in front of a big crowd on Saturday.

“I think tomorrow (Saturday) night will be a thrill to get their name on the back of their jersey and play with some of those kids and hopefully play for a good crowd tomorrow night,” Capuano said.

Playing in the Coliseum is sure to be a thrill, but in a few years, that may not be possible. Linell, Tiefenwerth and O’Donoghue have all attended Islanders games at the Coliseum in the past and now have skated on the historic ice, so they are very aware of the need for a new arena on Long Island.

“I think it’s one of those things that the people around the island would really cling to,” Linell said. “It would really start a new trend and a new image of Islanders hockey.”

O’Donoghue feels the same way.

“This building has a lot of history to it, but at the same time, it’s pretty old,” he said. “I feel that Long Island is a great place to live and a great place to grow up. If they get a new building here it would be unbelievable for the fans and players.”
Not only is Tiefenwerth a Nassau Country resident, Islanders fan and mini-camp attendee, but his parents own the Pines Ridge Motel located three miles away from Nassau Coliseum. He said a new arena would be great for their business.

Danny Linell skating at Nassau Coliseum during an on-ice session of Islanders Mini-Camp on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
“A new arena will be great for the Islanders organization as well as the businesses around here,” Tiefenwerth said. “My family owns a motel business, so I know it will help them. They’re right down the road.”

All three players’ families will not have to travel far for Saturday’s game, which will mark the conclusion of mini-camp. For this trio, it will be an experience they will never forget.

“I’m expecting a fun game, pretty high-tempo, but at the same time a lot of fun and a good atmosphere here at the Coliseum,” O’Donoghue said.

Sounds like the fans have something to look forward to.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster | Terms of Use