|Blake Kessel, Dustin Kohn, Jason Pitton |
Day 3 at Islanders Prospect Camp was a primer for the fun that is still yet to come – the full-ice scrimmages over the next three days.
Ted Nolan watched from high above the ice at Iceworks as the future Islanders took part in half-ice games.
"We're not doing too much evaluation," said Nolan. "This camp is supposed to give these guys a taste of the NHL. It's supposed to be fun for them. We're not expecting them to be in the best shape, since it's the summer. We're looking for other intangibles like how they get along with each other." Notes and quotes from Day 2 at the Prospect Camp.
• One of the most likeable guys at camp is 2006 draft pick Stefan Ridderwall, who is attending his first Prospect Camp. Following the morning skate, the Swedish netminder was hamming it up with fellow Swedish 2006 draft pick Robin Figren. Here's what we learned about Ridderwall:
• His pre-game superstitions include kissing a plastic dinosaur eight times before each game and tapping the goalposts an inordinate amount of times.
• His favorite goaltender is Ed Belfour. "He was psycho, kind of like me," said Ridderwall with a smile.
• California-native Rhett Rakhshani
– drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 draft – sports the No. 9 at the University of Denver for two reasons. It was the first number he ever wore as a player. Plus, No. 9 was worn by Gabe Gauthier, who was the last fellow Californian to wear that number for the Pioneers. Unfortunately for Rakhshani, he won't get to wear No. 9 for the Islanders. That number rests with Hall of Famer Clark Gillies.
• 2007 4th round pick Max Gratchev was born in Russia, but moved to North America at the age of five, and grew up near Boston. His dream as a kid was to attend Boston College, but his plans changed when he learned about the QMJHL.
"When I heard about the Q, I was told that it was the best route to the NHL," said Gratchev with an interesting Russian/Boston accent. "I've always wanted to go to BC, but the NHL is my ultimate goal."
• Two of last year's Islanders draft picks will be making their college debuts in the fall. Brian Day, who was an All-Star at Governor's Academy in Massachusetts, will be attending Colgate in the fall, while USHLer Shane Sims will skate for Ohio State.
• Slovakian-born Tomas Marcinko
, who was chosen in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, played his first game in North America last season with Barrie of the OHL.
"It took about three months to adjust to the North American style," said Marcinko. "It helped that there was another Slovakian player on the team at the beginning of the season. He left after only a couple of games, so it got harder again. Next year, we'll have another Slovakian on the team to make it a little more comfortable. The North American-style was more physical, but I liked it."
• The prospects went to last night's Mets game, but unfortunately it was rained out. They sat at Shea for close to an hour. Some of the older guys, like Jeff Tambellini checked the weather forecast in advance and decided to head to Vincent's for dinner instead. A veteran move by one of the veterans at camp.
• Trottier and Islanders assistant coach Dan Lacroix joined Peter Ferraro and the rest of the coaches on the ice for the Ferraro Brothers Camp. You could tell the kids were excited to have the Islanders legend and current coach, but it was Ferraro, who was arguably most appreciative.
"There couldn't have been better timing having the prospect camp this week," said Ferraro. "The kids were able to be in the presence of such great players, and having Bryan and Dan on the ice was invaluable. The kids really liked having them on the ice. I'm grateful for their services."
for ISLANDERS MINI CAMP 2007 - Day III
The following is the schedule for the next three days of camp, which consists of scrimmages between Group Trottier and Group Bossy:
Saturday, June 30 – Scrimmage Game from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Sunday, July 1 – Scrimmage Game from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Monday, July 2 – Scrimmage Game from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM