On Monday afternoon, 45 Islanders prospects and camp invitees flocked to Islanders Iceworks for the annual Islanders Prospects Camp. Fans from across Long Island visited Syosset to see some of the Islanders'
brightest young stars, including Blake Comeau, Kyle Okposo
and 2008 first round draft pick Josh Bailey
In the morning, the players took part in some grueling testing to measure their level of fitness and sat in on a number of lectures, including one by mental conditioning coach Gary Parks. Later in the day, the players took to the ice for the first time. Director of Player Development Bryan Trottier, Islanders assistant coaches John Chabot, Gerard Gallant and Dan Lacroix, as well as Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano led this afternoon's skate.Here are some notes and quotes from Day 1 at the Prospects Camp.
- Bryan Trottier, back for his third Prospects Camp, spoke about the purpose of the week-long mini-camp, "This camp is all about building relationships. For the new guys, it's a chance for them to get a taste of Long Island and see what the Islanders are all about. For players like Blake and Kyle, this is their chance to go out and be leaders.Players are eager to be here and look up to the veterans of these camps. They also have the chance to get a taste of the NHL and see that they can compete against these guys. It's a fun time for these kids that hopefully they'll remember. We want to show these kids the human side of us and be able to put a face to a name."
- Islanders 2008 second-round draft pick Travis Hamonic is the youngest player at the mini-camp at 17 years, 10 months and 29 days. When asked what it felt to be the youngest at the camp, Hamonic replied, "I'm just excited to be here."
- Speaking of Hamonic, he and 2008 third-round draft pick David Toews grew up down the street from one another in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Toews also mentioned that he's been living this summer with brother and Chicago Blackhawk Jonathan.
- Brian Day is back for his third camp, having spent his first season at Colgate University. He reports that he had a great first year there and really enjoyed the campus. He's excited about having a new rink by his senior year. Day and his Raiders knocked off fellow Islanders draft picks Shea Guthrie and Tyrell Mason's Clarkson Green Knights in the ECAC Playoffs. Mason says there are no hard feelings, and that he's looking forward to getting back out there against him next season.
- Islanders 2007 draft pick and 2008 USHL Player of the Year Jason Gregoire tells Newyorkislanders.com that even though it's his second Prospects Camp, he's still feeling the jitters out there."I feel like this year's first day of camp was tougher than last year's," said Gregoire. "The fitness testing was more straining this year. But there is definitely a little bit more of a comfort level having been here last year."
- Gregoire also noted that there are four Manitoba-natives at Mini-Camp this year - himself, Hamonic, Toews and Brett Skinner. Toews and Gregoire will both be attending the University of North Dakota next season. Another tandem who will be playing together at college in 2009-10 are Oklahoma-native and 2008 draft pick Matt Donovan and 2006 draft pick Rhett Rakhshani, who was unable to attend this year's Prospects Camp.
- A few weeks ago, Newyorkislanders.com featured 2008 draft picks and Sarnia Sting (OHL) linemates Matt Martin and Justin DiBenedetto. Chalk the total of Sarnia players up to four. Islanders 2007 draft pick defenseman Mark Katic and camp invite and Long Island-native Vladimir Nikiforov. "You've got almost our entire power play unit here, minus Stamkos," noted Katic.
- The 2008 Prospect Group is divided into two groups: Morrow and Trottier.
Jase Weslovsky (NYI 2006 Round 4)Kevin Poulin
(NYI 2008 Round 5) DEFENSE
Jamie Fraser (Signed as Free Agent)
Dustin Kohn (NYI 2005 Round 2)
Tyrell Mason (NYI 2005 Round 6)
Jyri Niemi (NYI 2008 Round 3)
Shane Sims (NYI 2006 Round 5)
Jared Spurgeron (NYI Round 158)
Blake Kessel (NYI 2007 Round 6)
Brett Skinner (Signed as Free Agent)FORWARDS
Sean Bentivoglio (2007 Free Agent)
Blake Comeau (NYI 2004 Round 2) Justin DiBenedetto
(2008 NYI Round 6)
Max Gratchev (NYI 2007 Round 4)
Mike Haley (Signed as Free Agent)
Tyler Haskins (DET 2004 Round 5)
Rob Hennigar (Signed as Free Agent)Jesse Joensuu
(NYI 2006 Round 2) Matt Martin
(NYI 2008 Round 5)
Vladimir Nikiforov (Camp Invitee)
Joe Pereira (Camp Invitee)
Joel Rooney (Camp Invitee) Corey Trivino
(NYI 2008 Round 2)David Ullstrom
(NYI 2008 Round 4)Morrow Group:GOALIES
Peter Mannino (2008 Free Agent)
Andrew Engelage (Camp Invitee)DEFENSEMatt Donovan
(NYI 2008 Round 4)Travis Hamonic
(NYI 2008 Round 2)
Jack Hillen (Signed as Free Agent)
Simon Lacroix (NYI 2007 Round 7)Andrew MacDonald
(NYI 2006 Round 6)
Brad Nunn (Camp Invitee)Mark Katic
(NYI 2007 Round 3)FORWARDSJosh Bailey
(NYI 2008 Round 1)
Matt Christie (Camp Invitee)
Brian Day (NYI 2006 Round 6)
Jason Gregoire (NYI 2007 Round 3)
Brian Gibbons (Camp Invitee)
Shea Guthrie (NYI 2005 Round 3)Tomas Marcinko
(NYI 2006 Round 4)Kyle Okposo
(NYI 2006 Round 1)
Anthony Perdicaro (Camp Invitee)
Jason Pitton (NYI 2004 Round 8)
Joel Rechlicz (Signed as Free Agent)
Doug Rogers (NYI 2006 Round 4)
Trevor Smith (Signed as Free Agent)