For the first time Ken Morrow can remember, the Islanders are holding a mini Rookie Camp leading up to Training Camp. Considering Morrow has been with the organization since 1980, it's been at least 28 years since such a camp was held, and it's most likely the first.
On Monday morning, new Head Coach Scott Gordon was on the ice with his new team for the first time. None of the big names like Rick DiPietro
, Bill Guerin or Brendan Witt were skating, but future stars like Josh Bailey
have the rest of the week to show their talents before Training Camp begins on Saturday in Moncton.
"I want to start developing a work ethic and creating a cohesive unit of five on the ice," said Gordon, whose rookie squad will scrimmage against Boston Bruins rookies at the Sports Center in Shelton, Conn at 1 pm on Thursday. "My goal for this Rookie Camp is to help the young guys get ready for the competition at the end of the week against the Boston squad and ultimately Training Camp."
The Islanders held their annual mini-camp in July this summer, but with this Rookie Camp taking place closer to the start of the season, the stakes are higher.
"This camp is definitely different than the one earlier this summer," said Islanders Director of Player Development Bryan Trottier. "In July, the camp is less about evaluation and more about giving these kids a chance to get to know Long Island. This camp is about making an impression and showing us what they do best."
|Scott Gordon |
The Rookie Camp also acts as a buffer for the young players between the summer and competing against seasoned NHL veterans.
"We're giving the kids an opportunity to compete show their skills against players their own age and develop a comfort level," said Morrow, Director of Pro Scouting. "It helps the transition before the main camp up in Moncton."
The Rookie Camp will continue for the rest of this week at Iceworks. SCHEDULE OF ICE TIME AT ICEWORKSTuesday: 9 am – 12 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 12 pm
for a complete list of players at the Rookie Camp. Click here to watch Islanders TV video from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.