It's not often that Doug Weight gets a look at guys like Linus Soderstrom.
Granted, it's tough when Soderstrom is 3,850 miles away winning a Swedish Hockey League title, but that's the beauty of the Islanders annual Mini Camp, having all the team's prospects are in one place.
"It's good to have a lot of young guys together and it'll help them in a couple of months. It's always a real fun week," the Islanders coach said. "It's more about the organization, them getting comfortable with our people, with our culture, whether it's weightlifting or nutrition and to get on the ice and see some of our coaches. I think it's more about the conversation and meeting each other."
The Islanders Mini Camp runs Tuesday-Saturday at Northwell Health Ice Center with two ice-times every day split between the Blue and White groups. The prospects will play in the annual Blue and White Scrimmage on Thursday night.
Weight, Bridgeport Sound Tigers Coach Brent Thompson and the organization's management utilize the week-long camp as a summer check-in. It's a chance to evaluate the growth of the team's junior prospects like David Quenneville, catch up with the Europeans like Soderstrom and get to know the new draft picks like Robin Salo and Arnaud Durandeau.
Different players get different things out of the Islanders mini camp. For Salo and Durandeau, it's a chance to learn the Islanders systems and philosophies, while players like Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier - who all played with the Islanders at different points last season - it's about working out and setting examples for the new guys.
"It's obviously cool being an older guy and kind of leading the way," Barzal said. "I remember when I was 17, 18, seeing Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Alan Quine and those guys and looking up to them. Pretty cool to be in their spot now."
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