UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Corey Trivino and New York Islanders coach Scott Gordon agree that 2010-11 will be a crossroads season for the 20-year-old center.
The Isles took Trivino with the 36th pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, knowing he was headed for Boston University. But after a solid freshman season that saw him become a valuable third-line center on a national championship team, 2009-10 didn't go nearly as well for Trivino or his teammates. He managed just 4 goals and 15 points in 28 games before a fractured right fibula ended his season in February -- a month before BU lost to Maine in the Hockey East semifinals, denying the Terriers a chance to defend their title.
Not the kind of season he or the Isles were looking for.
"We had a bad start, but things started to roll in the second semester," Trivino told NHL.com at the Islanders' development camp at the Nassau Coliseum. "We had a good winning streak going, good chemistry going. Unfortunately, I got injured and it kind of messed up the lines."
"I've been trying to work hard in the gym, especially (after) I got injured," he said. "I had a lot of free time and I didn't want to put it to waste. I was in the gym a lot, trying to get stronger in my upper body. I knew that once I got healed, I had to put the weight back on my legs."
Trivino's season will start a little late -- he will sit out an early-season suspension ("I think it will be two or three games," he said) for an off-ice infraction last spring. But he's optimistic that 2010-11 will be the year he starts to put up better offensive numbers.
"It's doing what I went to BU to do," he said when asked about generating more offense -- especially on a team that's lost a lot of talent to graduation and the NHL since 2009. "It's a big season for me. We have a lot of young talent, a lot of sophomores turning into juniors, and hopefully this year we come together and fill their shoes."
Gordon said he's impressed with Trivino's increased size and confidence on the ice.
"It's pretty evident that he's gotten stronger," Gordon said. "He's really filled out and he looks a lot more sure of himself on the ice. Last year, he looked like he was just kind of happy to be here and at the same time very unsure of where to go and what to do. Now you watch him out there and he looks like he's playing with confidence."
Gordon agreed that Trivino has to step into a major role at BU -- both for his team and his hopes of playing in the NHL.
"It's an important year for him at college this year, to be able to be a go-to guy for their team," Gordon said. "He's shown that he has all the abilities; now he's just got to put them together and play a complete game."
Trivino said he hasn't had any conversations with the team about its plans for him. For now, he wants to put together a solid season while playing an increasingly important role on a winning team.
"I'm going to take it season-by-season," he told NHL.com. "I have to concentrate on staying healthy for the whole season. I feel like if I stay healthy and work hard this season, I'll finally do what I'm supposed to do -- and hopefully I’ll get a shot (in the NHL)."