and newly acquired free agent PA Parenteau
, the winger didn’t seem to be plagued by his season-ending foot injury. Instead he looked healthy and ready to dominate play.
Islanders winger Blake Comeau looked great out on the ice inside the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Monday morning. Skating on the same offensive line as the Islanders 2009 first overall draft pick
“I want to perform at the NHL level for 82 games, that’s one of my goals to be in the lineup every game this year,” Comeau said. “Knock on wood, I haven’t been injured too much over my career. So I feel like if I can stay healthy that is something I can do this year - contribute all year long.”
After the season ended, Comeau went home for the summer, worked hard training and keeping up with his workouts so that he would be ready for a breakout season this year.
“My summer was good,” Comeau said. “I just went back home and spent some time with my family and friends, worked on my golf game a little bit, and trained pretty hard. I’m excited to be back. It was a long summer for me until now, so there’s a lot of excitement coming in to this year.”
Drafted in the second round (47th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan native made his Bridgeport debut during 2006 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs where he tallied three assists in seven games.
I want to perform at the NHL level for 82 games, that’s one of my goals to be in the lineup every game this year,” Comeau said. “Knock on wood, I haven’t been injured too much over my career. So I feel like if I can stay healthy that is something I can do this year, is contribute all year long. - Blake Comeau
The following year, Comeau played his only full season with the Sound Tigers, playing in 61 games and tallying 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points. Taking the next step in his game, Comeau split the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons between the Islanders and Sound Tigers, making strides and improving upon his game each year. He improved his Islanders point total by six points after notching an additional 10 goals from the season prior.
In his first full season with the Islanders, Comeau played in 61 games and tallied 17 goals and 18 assists to obtain an NHL career high 35 points.
Comeau has clearly made strides in his game over the past few seasons, but Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon particularly noticed his improvement towards the end of the season last year. He scored 20 points in his last 18 games of the season, which improved his overall totals enough to rank him fourth on the team in goals and tied him for sixth in points.
“I think he made big strides, particularly the last 20 games of the year,” Coach Gordon said. “That’s what everyone has expected from him and I’m sure he’s expected from himself. So it would be nice for him now to really take the next step and perform that way over the course of the season. I think he’s at the point now where he’s matured, he’s I think learned a lot about himself and how to play and it’s just going to be about consistency.”
His talent and abilities haven’t been overlooked by his teammate John Tavares
“I think he’s almost like Kyle (Okposo),” Tavares said. “He’s a power kind of player. He really gets in on the forecheck. He makes good strong plays, wins puck battles and has a great shot. He knows how to find the net. Especially when he gets his confidence going he can really dominate out there.”
Comeau and Tavares enjoyed skating with each other last year, but they also became good friends and insist their chemistry really took off after they started hanging out with each other outside of the arena.
“I think we got to really know each other, off the ice as well,” Tavares said. “And I think that really made a difference in our chemistry on the ice. At the end of the year he was really getting hot so it wasn’t a bad idea to get him the puck. I think that’s something I was focusing on in some of those games there.”
“So we really started to find chemistry and talk to each other and use each other I think down low in the offensive zone,” Tavares continued. “If we could keep that going I think that would be great and we’d have a great start here in preseason.”
If Comeau can keep up the fire he created at the end of last season, there is no doubt that he will be an extremely important member of the Islanders roster this year.