Some snapshots and quotes from the first day of the New York Islanders' 2015 prospect mini-camp, via Isles PR and some of the writers who took it in and tweeted it out:
First, a little order of business on the two goalies the Islanders drafted in 2014:
First group just on ice for #Isles camp. Two drafted goalies, Ilya Sorokin (visa issues) and Linus Soderstrom (hip surgery) missing camp.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) July 7, 2015
The hip surgery for Linus Soderstrom had previously been reported (sorry, forget where), but that doesn't make it any less jarring to read, given the Isles' history with a certain goalie's uncertain hip surgery. Get well, Linus! Beat those bureaucrats, Ilya!
He's talented, he's forthcoming, he's not afraid to talk and to analyze his own game (a game where he says his defensive side has improved), and he's flashy:
How close is he to the pros? Doesn't matter.
#Isles Ho-Sang: "I want to push myself to be as good as I possibly can. So if I’m close, great, but I want to be better."— Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey) July 7, 2015
2015 Draft Class
And how about those two newest young Canadian forwards the Islanders drafted?
Ho-Sang on Barzal and Beauvillier: "Those guys are 2 great first round picks and it’s good to see we’re adding more weapons to the arsenal."— Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey) July 7, 2015
Andong Song, the first-ever Chinese-born NHL draft pick, selected last month, was also in the spotlight. Islanders Insight has audio with him, and he was also in the images and audio links sent out by the Isles PR crew:
#Isles Song on first day of camp: "Probably the fastest practice I’ve ever been in."— Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey) July 7, 2015
Skating, Training, Smiling
Smile, state your name.
But the mini-camp isn't all fun and games. It's hands-on orientation to off-ice training (under the watchful eye of a Jon Sim jersey, among others):
Still, while it's not particularly eventful in terms of getting a full read on the NHL-readiness or projection of individual players, this mini-camp is interesting in that you have a range from last month's fresh draft picks to guys like Ryan Pulock who are on the cusp of an NHL roster spot. Lots of Sound Tigers in the mix.
Tomorrow night is the most "open" part of the camp, a scrimmage under the lights and in front of the fans at Barclays Center at 7 p.m. It will also be streamed live for starving Islanders fans around the world.