The New York Islanders announced several more roster cuts today, including placing defenseman Scott Mayfield on waivers for the purpose of assigning to AHL Bridgeport.
If Mayfield clears waivers, in Bridgeport he’ll be joining:
- Joshua Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle, two promising first-round pick forwards who will begin their pro careers in the AHL, as expected.
- Forward Ross Johnston and defensemen Devon Toews, Kyle Burroughs, Matthew Finn, Jesse Graham, and goalies Chistopher Gibson and Stephon Williams, all assigned to Bridgeport.
In addition to those moves, Steve Bernier -- who spent last season with the Islanders — Colin Markison and Tanner Fritz were released from their PTOs (professional tryouts). Stephen Gionta is still on PTO, but is injured (you can’t release an injured player) and doesn’t factor into the 23-man roster count.
This means that, at least for now, 19-year-olds Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier are still in camp. They can only be retained or else sent back to their junior teams for the season — there is no AHL possibility for them. Both have impressed, and would be eligible for nine-game trials before they’d burn a year on their entry level contracts. (If they were returned to juniors before playing a 10th NHL game, the start of their contracts “slides” to the next year.)
Still no decision on the three-headed goalie monster, unless that decision is to keep all three goalies from last year, an uncomfortable situation (and a pricey use of a roster spot). Jean-Francois Berube is still in camp and would require waivers before being sent to Bridgeport.
Both Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech remain in camp. Unlike Mayfield, they wouldn’t require waivers to be sent to Bridgeport, but both have eyes on a spot among eight defensemen (if the Isles keep that many) or seven (if one is sent down). The betting here is that Pelech stays in camp for now, but ends up being one of the ones assigned to Bridgeport.
Mikhail Grabovski is on injured reserve (IR). Shane Prince is currently injured and a candidate to be on IR too if he’s not ready for the start of the season. At age 40 Eric Boulton is always a risk to take a bad step and land on IR, or in Bridgeport.
Plus, as we’ve seen too often, the next few days of practice or Sunday’s final preseason game could bring other unfortunate injuries that create roster room.
But for now, conservatively speaking, it looks like at least one of Barzal or Beauvillier will start the season with the big club.