Young Long Islanders Strive to Make Jr.Isles Roster

Team will play in Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in February

Wednesday, 06.27.2012 / 5:12 PM ET / News
By Michelle Gearrity
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Young Long Islanders Strive to Make Jr.Isles Roster

Imagine playing a hockey tournament on an NHL rink against teams from across the globe – all at the ripe old age of 11 or 12. It’s a long sought after dream by players around the world, but can become a reality for 20 youngsters trying out for this year’s Junior Islanders. On Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21, the first of two summer tryouts for the team was held at Islanders Iceworks, the Official Practice Facility of the New York Islanders.

The Jr. Islanders are made up of Long Island pee-wee hockey players who are 11 and 12-years-old. Those who make the final roster represent Long Island in the annual Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament where teams from 16 different countries travel to compete. The 11-day tournament attracts over 200,000 fans to watch some of the best young hockey players in the world at Colisee Pepsi.

Former Islanders star Benoit Hogue has coached the Jr. Islanders and traveled to Quebec City with the team for the past several years and will lead them again this season.

“I had players last year that were scouted for the OHL team,” Hogue said. “That’s where many NHL draft picks are from which is why I want to start competing on the ice early and have these kids play their best. If they make the team and go to the tournament, the exposure for their future is going to be big.”

Islanders forward Matt Martin joined over 40 prospective Jr. Islanders and Coach Hogue on the ice during Thursday’s skating session.

“I’m sure it’s an exciting time for them,” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some of these guys on the Colisee ice. It’s good to play on an international level to see how you match up as both a player and team against different countries.”

The young players executed skating and puck handling drills before splitting into two teams to show their skills in a scrimmage.

“You need to have a good head to the game and be able to move the puck,” youth player Riley Brennan said. “The competition was pretty fierce but I think I did well.”

“I look at the kids who are going to go out and compete, who want to fight for the puck,” Hogue said. “I need team players who are capable of being aggressive and taking the puck to the net.”

All hopeful Jr. Islanders players must attend one of the two on-ice camps which will help the coaching staff determine the make-up of the team. Iceworks hosts the second camp in August, and the final, mandatory tryout is set for late September. All Long Island players born in either 2000 or 2001 are encouraged to try out and bring their A-game.

“Every year I go there I want to win it,” Hogue said. “I know this tournament is competitive and hard to win but in my head I go there to play hard and win some games.”

If Long Island’s best players continue to show up for these tryouts at Iceworks, the Jr. Islanders have the chance to do more than that.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 7 2 4 2 6
J. Bailey 7 2 3 1 5
N. Leddy 7 0 5 0 5
R. Strome 7 2 2 1 4
K. Okposo 7 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 7 2 1 1 3
B. Nelson 6 2 0 1 2
F. Nielsen 7 1 1 -1 2
N. Kulemin 7 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 4 1 .926 2.30
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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