After missing two days, Casey Cizikas returned to practice on Thursday morning and is good to go for Friday's season opener.
Cizikas said Saturday's collision with Rangers defenseman Adam Fox looked worse than it was and that he was confident he'd be ready to go against Washington.
"Everyone outside of the room only saw the one play. The video didn't look good, but I knew right away what the problem was and I felt good enough today to go skate with the guys, get a good skate in tomorrow morning, and get ready for tomorrow night."
That's welcome news for the Isles.
DOBSON GETS NEW NUMBER:
Noah Dobson had a new number when he walked into the Islanders locker room on Thursday. Gone was his training-camp issued 45 and in its place was regular-season issued 8.
"I came in today and it was on my helmet," Dobson said. "I guess that's my new number."
It's a small thing, but another indication of his NHL status.
HOLMSTROM ASSIGNED TO BRIDGEPORT:
Simon Holmstrom will stay in North America this season, as he was assigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Wednesday.
Holmstrom, the Isles' 2019 first-round pick (23rd overall), had the option to return to HV71's junior club, but the 18-year-old will stay stateside. As a European draftee, Holmstrom has American Hockey League eligibility, unlike Noah Dobson, who was drafted out of the Canadian junior ranks.
Head Coach Barry Trotz sees Holmstrom's decision to play in Bridgeport as one that can benefit team and player. For Holmstrom, it's a chance to be indoctrinated into Islanders hockey, as the Sound Tigers play a similar system, and get used to being in North America. For the team, it's an easy way to follow his development, driving up I-95 as opposed to flying overseas.
"It's huge for him," Trotz said. "North American style, playing and growing with young guys like [Oliver] Wahlstrom and that. They are going to be core components, the sort of foundational element going forward. For those guys to come up together, there's nothing greater than having a bond and hopefully winning in Bridgeport and making the jump to the NHL. There's nothing that's going to hurt him. He's going to play on smaller ice surfaces, he's going to get used to the grind of the AHL schedule, playing against bigger men for the most part and growing in our system and our culture."
UPDATES ON JOSH HO-SANG:
Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello said that Josh Ho-Sang's representatives asked if he "would entertain another team that would possibly be interested in Josh." The Isles GM said he would honor that request and explore options to move the 2014 first-round pick. The move comes after the Islanders put Ho-Sang on waivers on Monday with the intention of assigning him to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Ho-Sang, who cleared waivers Tuesday, did not report to Bridgeport on Thursday, per Lamoriello's request, as to not disrupt the Sound Tigers preparations for Saturday's season opener.
"What has transpired is that his representative has simplistically, in a very respectful way because of what has transpired over the past couple of years, asked if we would entertain, another team that would possibly be interested in Josh," Lamoriello said. "I will do that. There's no issues off the ice, there are no problems, just simply going through a bit of time to see if something can work out."
Lamoriello added. "Whether it's a lateral move, or another asset, those are all independently being considered. Should they not work out, he will be in Bridgeport on our timetable, but he would go there today if he were told to do so."
"This is not a case of putting him somewhere to play. This is a case of putting him with a team, should there be a transaction," Lamoriello said. "He's also a player that if he's playing well, he'd be available to call up. This is not a player who is not a good hockey player. This is a player who did not make our roster today, what will happen in the future or depending upon how he plays and how he compares to the players that he's playing with as far as a recall. This is not a punishment, this is simply a hockey decision."