By Jason Lockhart
For two hours this morning prospects were put to the test in Day One of development camp with Islanders legend Bryan Trottier and director of player development Dan Marshall running the show.
It was Trottier's triumphant return to the ice since being hired as executive director of player development last month. His presence was evident with fans and players excited to see the one of the greatest Islanders skating again. New head coach Ted Nolan watched closely from the stands, evaluating the future of the organization.
The event featured a collection of young talents, including recent Islanders first round pick Kyle Okposo (2006), Petteri Nokelainen (2004) and Robert Nilsson (2003), plus young Islanders Chris Campoli, Jeff Tambellini, Jeremy Colliton and Bruno Gervais.
The Islanders' prospects participated in a combination of onice and office conditioning sessions. In addition, the players took part in seminars and met wiith team owner Charles Wang.
"It took a while to get here," said 2006 draft pick and Orange, Ca native, Rhett Rakhshani, "but so far Day One has gone well."
At 10 am, it was time to hit the ice for skating and shooting drills with Trottier and Marshall. The players put on a skillful display for the Islanders hockey ops staff and the fans in attendance.
The most brilliant show was put on by Sergei Ogorodnikov who came in on goalie invite Wayne Savage and pulled a stickbetweenthelegs move and roofed the puck top shelf. A "wow" erupted from the players and fans watching.
"It was good to get back on the ice," said 2005 secondround pick Dustin Kohn, "and see the guys you worked with last year and meet some of the new guys."
FSN, MSG Network, Newsday, News 12 and SNY were on hand to interview some of the young Islanders about their first day of development camp. Nolan and Trottier, who were excited to see the youngest crop of Islanders skating, also fielded questions.
"We had a good first day at camp," said Trottier. "I look forward to continue working with and getting to know the youth of our organization."
The NYI development camp runs each morning this week at Iceworks, culminating in a scrimmage on Saturday.