Islanders Mini Camp opened Tuesday, as recent draft picks, prospects and local invitees hit the ice Nassau Coliseum for a week of instruction from Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers coaches.
The first day started with 7 a.m. headshots and physicals, followed by an off-ice session at Pro PT and an on-ice session at the Coliseum. The 48 skaters were split into two teams – blue and white. Click here for the full mini-camp roster.
Conditioning was the theme of the first day, as most players hadn’t been involved in team skating and workouts since the end of their junior, collegiate and professional seasons.
NewYorkIslanders.com was on hand to bring you all the news, notes and quotes from day one of camp.
Update: Isles TV conducted interviews throughout the day. Watch: Reinhart; Pulock; Capuano; Dal Colle and Ho-Sang
Day One By the Numbers
47 – Total Skaters
1 – Absent Skater (Sam Herr) to arrive on Thursday
2 – Sessions, one on-ice and one off-ice
4 – First-round Picks Participating: Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Michael Dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang
6 – Local players from Long Island: Tommaso Bucci, John Schiavo, Chris Makowski, Jimmy Mazza, Mike Marnell and Anthony Pupplo.
27 – Undrafted Players
6746 – Miles (roughly) from Long Island to Japan. Japanese prospect Yuri Terao travelled the furthest of any invitee to attend camp.
From the Coach:
"This is just a fun week for us, not only for the kids to get to know one another, but for the coaches to interact and spend some one-on-one time with these kids. We’re not here to judge and evaluate players, we know they’re good players. We’re here to get to know them. That’s more or less what I want to accomplish this week."
Pulock and Pelech on Day One:
Pulock on his second mini camp: "I feel so much more comfortable out there. I met everyone around here last year. I know some of the systems they play now. I know what they are trying to stress on us to work on."
Adam Pelech on nerves vs. excitement: "It’s a combination. You’re definitely a little bit nervous because you’re surrounded by a lot of great people… and influential people in the organization. There are some nerves, but it’s also exciting to have the chance to even get out here. It’s a combination of both."
Pelech on camp: "It was a high-pace practice and they expect a lot out of you. They have their own systems and things they believe in that they try to implement into our game. It’s good to get out here and have a first-hand opportunity to learn the things they want us to do."
Scott Mayfield: "This camp I want to be more of a leader considering it’s my fourth year, but at the same time I can learn something new every day... My goal is to play here on the Island, I know I got the chance last year, but I want to be a full-time player this year."
Kevin Czuczman: "A couple of guys asked me what it was like to play out there. You can’t look too far ahead, you have to take the little steps. This is my fourth development camp. Every year I try to take a little thing from it. There are so many resources here and so many little things you can take away from it."
Czuczman Continued: "Every time you put on a jersey, you’re proving somehting. You have to earn it every time. Youre always proving something whether youre working out or carrying yourself off the ice, you’re representing the team... It’s the biggest summer of my life this summer and you have to treat it that way."
Michael Dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang on their first day of camp:
Dal Colle: "It was fun, but I was actually pretty anxious coming in. Now that I’ve gotten it out of the way, it’s a load off my shoulders, but it was good. The coaching staff sent the message that if you want to be a pro, you have to excel in all aspects. Work ethic is what separates you if you want to play in the NHL. That’s the main thing I took away from today."
Ho-Sang: "Just to be out there… the whole atmosphere… It’s really exciting, I’m like a kid in a candy store. The fact that I get to wear this logo and the equipment… it’s a blessing."
"I’m pretty sure I said something to every single coach and they all said something to me and that’s awesome."
"The biggest thing I can take from Day 1 is you have to be in shape; you have to be physically ready. You have to be mentally ready. There are moments when you are going to be really tired throughout the NHL season and you have to fight through that. Even towards the end of the practice I was getting a little tired – we woke up at six this morning – that’s new, its different, but it’s adjusting to the lifestyle."
The Islanders invited five players from the P.A.L Jr. Islanders and six players from Long Island.
Jack Capuano: Any time you can have a local player come to one of these camps, it’s exciting... They get to go through an experience they will never forget. They learn what it’s going to take for them to get to the next level and it’s great that the organization does things like that."