Nikolay Kulemin blended in at Sunday's practice in Vancouver, but for a player who's spent a long time skating on his own or away from the group, that's a good thing.
Kulemin wasn't quite a full participant at the Islanders practice, but skated with Brock Nelson's line and took some contact in a few one-on-one drills. His return isn't imminent, but it's another step forward in a lengthy recovery after upper-body surgery in mid-November.
"He really wants to push himself and he feels pretty good, but he's got a little ways to go," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "I think he's just getting to the minimum of what they said, but as Kulie does everything, he's attacked it full boar… when he wants to play I'll be in there fighting for him."
Kulemin's original timeline was four-to-six months from the Nov. 13 announcement and he's approaching the four-month mark. Stay tuned for further updates.