The kids have arrived for Islanders rookie camp, which starts Friday at the team's practice facility at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow.
Arthur Staple tweeted the names of the attendees this afternoon. Some we're already well familiar with and some are new, hoping to catch on with the Islanders affiliates in Bridgeport (AHL) or Missouri (ECHL). And at least one of the new names is fantastico.
The four first rounders from 2014 and 2015 - Michael Dal Colle, Joshua Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier - will all be at camp, as will Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, who spent time with the Islanders last season (in Pulock's case, a ton of very important time). David Quenneville, a late draft pick from this year, will also be in attendance, as will NCAA guys Kyle Schempp and Devon Toews.
Here's the full list
|71||LW||Michael Dal Colle|
|58||D||Mitchell Vande Sompel|
Staple also writes that Barzal was at Northwell a day early to skate with some of the elder Islanders like Travis Hamonic, who just finished his annual 26-hour iron man drive from Winnipeg to New York. Barzal, who almost made the big club last year, is coming into camp aiming squarely for a roster spot - or else it'll be back to junior for another year.
"I'm not really coming in feeling I have a spot," he said. "I've got to earn a spot and work harder than I ever have to do that. I'm just really looking forward to it."
Among the few new guys is the awesomely-named Cristiano DiGiacinto, a 2014 sixth round pick of the Lightning who wasn't signed by the July 1st deadline this year. He had 115 points (54 g, 61 a) in 176 games with the Windsor Spitfires, where he played a feisty game.
Windsor's vice president and general manager, former NHLer Warren Rychel said that DiGiacinto's toughness and grit help to set him apart. "He has the heart of a lion. He does the dirty work," Rychel said. It's his willingness to get to those areas that will help DiGiacinto continue to succeed in the OHL.
After not drafting Phil Di Giuseppe and Andrew Mangiapane in recent years, I'm pulling for my new paisan DiGiacinto to get a contract with the Islanders somewhere in their system.
Camp concludes next Wednesday with a game against Flyers prospects at Northwell Health.