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Islanders prospect camp opens; Tavares turns water to wine

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The focus unavoidably will be on No. 1 overall draft pick John Tavares as he straps on his skates for the first time as an Islander when minicamp for rookies and prospects begins Friday at Iceworks.

But he will be surrounded by nearly all of the organization's top prospects for the franchise rebuilding plan that began a year ago. Of the 20 players selected by the Islanders in the past two drafts, 17 are scheduled to attend.

>>Greg Logan, Newsday

Logan's lede is pretty much how I feel: I'm never much for prospect camps -- so much going on, so much diversion and potential to read too much into a mere scrimmage -- so I usually prefer a whole staff of observers to distill what, if anything, can be learned.

But like Logan, I'm not so much interested in Tavares this weekend -- we know he's pretty good and headed to the NHL, and something tells me we'll learn everything down to his skate size over the years. Rather, I want a window on the progress of the other Islanders prospects, the ones around whom questions and hopes swirl. And boy, are there a lot of them. From the new goalies to the long-developing Finn and Swedes, let's see where they are.

For camp roster, all-encompassing camp coverage, Tavares bits and other Islanders blog/news, check the links after the jump.

Camp Links

Never sure how often to stress this, but I'm a long-distance Islanders fan, so the above (and anyone else I find) will be my eyes and ears for this weekend. The Sunday session is open to the public, but there's been word that season ticket holders can make arrangements if they call.

Other Islanders Links

We'll be keeping tabs on mini-camp and other news here, but we'll also move back into summer mode with more Islanders report cards and other evergreen features. Thanks for coming round, thanks for coming back.