Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee and Matt Martin were expertly working the 11-and-under crowd at Camp Ave Elementary School in North Merrick on Monday.
Need a shot of energy? Bring up Mario Kart. Want to send everyone home happy? Start a high-five line out the door. Barzal even had the ability to silence the crowd with a single "shhhhh" when things needed to get back on track.
The only time the cheers turned to gasps was when Barzal brought up the notion of "putting the Fortnite down for a little while."
"I thought this place was going to explode when I told them no more Fortnite," Barzal joked, referencing the popular video game that has become a phenomenon amongst the pre-teen/teenage demographic.
Monday was Islanders School Day, where the team dispersed to elementary schools on Long Island and in Queens to talk about the importance of education, hard work, and physical fitness. Afterwards, the kids had a chance to ask the Isles questions in a Q&A.
"You want to get the message across on some of the important things," Martin said. "Teamwork. Healthy lifestyle, living an active lifestyle, and listening to your teachers and coaches. The kind of things that to this day, we are still doing."
Martin had some fun with the crowd too, quipping that he was in a room full of geography majors when the kids claimed they knew where his hometown of Windsor, ON, was.
Video: Isles visit schools across Long Island
Lee also got an interesting reaction when he spoke about the importance of healthy eating. He suggested eating nutritious food before a test to help focus, instead of say, a bowl of candy. Good point but poor choice of words as a Michael Scott-esque "Nooooooooo!" rang out from one kid in the crowd upon hearing the word "test."
They laughed it off though, as the Islanders can all still remember what it was like to be a kid.
"When I was a kid we had special guests along the way that impacted us and we didn't forget, hopefully we can have that same type of impression on this group," Martin said.
It's a memorable day for the kids, who were outfitted in orange and blue in Merrick and across Long Island. The schools had to make a pitch to get the Isles there, showing the team how they make a difference in the community. The reward was getting pro hockey players to come visit them.
"The kids were really good, attentive, and had a ton of energy," Lee said. "It's always fun coming back to these schools and spending a little bit of time with them, going over our experiences, eating healthy and all the fun stuff it is to be a kid."
After the assembly, Barzal, Lee, and Martin high-fived every kid on their way out the door and signed autographs for the fifth and sixth graders.
"A lot of smiles on faces and a lot of laughs," Barzal said. "I'm glad we could come in and make their day."