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by Jason Lockhart / New York Islanders

Ted Nolan speaks highly of Islanders prospects' play at Camp

Jeff Tambellini

Of the 18 forwards remaining with the Islanders, Jeff Tambellini (23), Blake Comeau (21) and Jeremy Colliton (22) are the youngest. But the three Islanders young guns have had notable camps.

At this morning's skate, Ted Nolan talked about the three young Islanders, who have made it to the final 29.

"We all know what Tambellini can do," said Nolan. Now we want to see if he can do it on a regular basis. He has his speed and that's what we're looking for on this team.

"Comeau's had a great Camp. He is one of those guys, who I was impressed with when I first saw him. He's a highly intelligent player. He had a little bit more to go to find that second gear, but he seemed to have found it at Training Camp this year.

"For a guy who had major surgery in the off-season, Colliton's patience and maturity has really
Jeremy Colliton
improved this year. He's got another exhibition game to continue his growth.

"It's a great sign for the organization to have three young kids that are almost ready for primetime."


Another young player Ted spoke highly of this morning was defenseman Aaron Johnson, who is only 24. Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant coached Johnson when he was with Columbus last season and played a role in getting him to the Islanders.

"Aaron definitely still has a shot to make the team," said the Islanders' head coach. "He comes to the rink every day with a big smile on his face. He loves to play. The one thing I really like about Aaron is his enthusiastic approach to the game. He's still a young guy, so there's a lot of potential there."

Blake Comeau

The entire team participated in practice this morning. Below were the line combinations and defense pairings.

Jon Sim – Mike Sillinger – Trent Hunter
Jeff Tambellini – Josef Vasicek – Miroslav Satan
Ruslan Fedotenko – Mike Comrie – Bill Guerin
Richard Park – Shawn Bates – Darryl Bootland
Chris Simon – Jeremy Colliton – Kip Brennan
Sean Bergenheim – Andy Hilbert – Blake Comeau

Chris Campoli - Bruno Gervais
Brendan Witt – Marc-Andre Bergeron
Bryan Berard – Freddy Meyer
Andy Sutton – Aaron Johnson
Radek Martinek



Tonight will be the first Islanders-Rangers contest for some of the newest Islanders, including Aaron Johnson and Ruslan Fedotenko. Here was their take on the rivalry.

"I think rivalries like this are awesome," said Johnson. "It should be a fun game with a good atmosphere. I look forward to playing in all those games."

When asked what the key to stopping Jagr is, Johnson responded with a smile and said: "Let him do his thing, but then keep him to the outside. He's obviously really dangerous once he gets in close."

Added Tank: "I've always heard it's a really big rivalry. I guess I'll found out tonight. It should be exciting."

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