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Islanders prospects answer questions from Facebook and Twitter

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders prospects Calvin de Haan, Mikko Koskinen, Aaron Ness, Matt Donovan, and Tony Romano appeared at the Islanders Team Store in Massapequa. Fans asked questions on Facebook and Twitter. Here are the answers:

Karly McKenna on Facebook:
What goals do you have for yourselves as an Islander?
Skate fast alongside Grabner?
de Haan: Yeah, hopefully I can be as fast as him one day. But you know I’ll try and keep up with him for now.
Ness: Yeah absolutely. He’s obviously a lot faster than I am, but hopefully one day I’ll be able to skate with him.
Romano: He’s a great player and there’s a lot of great guys on that team that you want to be playing with.

How eager are you all to show the team how you improved at rookie camp this year?
Romano: Very eager because as the year progressed I got better and better in Bridgeport this year and I just hope I can build off that and take it into training camp.
Ness: I can’t wait. It’s an exciting time to get out there with some of the guys and compete with them, and to earn a spot is pretty fun and pretty exciting.
Donovan: Pretty eager. I think I’ve improved a lot, and I’m ready to get out there and show them what I improved on.
de Haan: I’m looking forward to competing for a spot because I’m just like the other guys that I’m here with. I didn’t play in rookie camp last year because of my shoulder so I’ve got a lot to prove this summer.
Koskinen: Yeah I’m really excited to come back here in September to show my improvement.

Can you ask all the guys: What do you do to take your mind OFF hockey while trying to unwind during the off-season. #isles
de Haan: Well there’s a lot to do in the summer so I go golfing, I go fishing and stuff with buddies back home. And I just like to relax over the summer.
Donovan: First couple months of summer I just stay away from the rink. Try not to skate as much as I can, and then play a lot of golf.
Ness: Just try to see my family and stuff as much as possible. During the season it’s tough to see them with the busy schedule. I like to golf too and just kind of stay away from the rink for a while and just relax.
Romano: I go out East and go to the beaches. Go fishing, play a lot of golf. I try not to skate that much either, probably not until July or August.
Koskinen: Just relaxing with my friends… I like Tennis and golf. Although I can’t play this summer because I had surgery on my wrist so I have to do something else.

Ask Romano about his time with Bridgeport last year. Did he need to step into a leadership role and what was that like? #Isles
Romano: Yeah eventually. I started out with a lot less of a role in the beginning of the season, as injuries happened a lot of guys came in and out of the team. A lot of us younger guys needed to step up and take leadership roles. As the season progressed I got better and better.

Will you ask Ness about the big college rivalries in Minnesota? Playing for the Golden Gophers must have been cool.
Ness: We have quite a few rivalries. North Dakota is probably the biggest one, obviously we hate Denver too. Donavan’s on that team…
(Donovan interjects) Yeah we beat them a lot…
Ness: It was always a battle with them, they had a good year. They were still pretty lucky beating us a couple of times. North Dakota is probably the number one rival for us, it always has been even before I got there. So they’re always a fun team to play and we always had a lot of good battles.

Will you ask Donovan about growing up in Oklahoma & the sport environment? I imagine, hockey must not draw the crowds.
Donovan: Obviously there’s not a lot of hockey in Oklahoma, but my dad ran a rink in Oklahoma so I was a rink-rat. I was always at the rink and that’s kind of how I got into it.

You could ask Ness and Donovan about their decision to leave college?
Donovan: It’s a pretty tough decision. I think you talk to the people around you and the support group that you have—your agents, your family and at the end you just make a decision that feels right.
Ness: I just felt it was time for me. I was in a development stage. I felt like I was ready to make the jump and bring myself to another level and push myself. It was tough obviously, to leave school a year early like that, but I think it was worth it.

Romano is from Smithtown, right? Ask him what it's like to be home?!
Romano: It’s great.  A lot of guys have to go home in the off-season and when the season starts they’re gone for six-seven months, but I’m either in Bridgeport or I’m here and I can’t really complain.

I'd like to ask Mikko what it was like playing in the crazy Feb. 11 game against the #pens. What did he think?
Koskinen: It was definitely something different than I’m used to being in. But it was a fun experience. I think everybody liked that.

For Calvin de Hann: Do you expect to adjust to the NHL as fast as Travis did this year when your time comes?
de Haan: Well hopefully that’s a goal obviously, but some guys take more time than others. I want to make an impact as soon as I can though.

to calvin de haan: Who are you most excited to play with?
de Haan: Well with Mikko. I’ve played with most of the guys on the back-end, but I think it would be pretty cool to run a power play with Mart Streit. Or play five-on-five with Travis because we played World Juniors together. Obviously me and JT played together. I know Travis from multiple camps now. I know most of the guys pretty well now.
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