Pulock still expects competition for roster spot in the fall

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Ryan Pulock and Griffin Reinhart were expected to battle for a roster spot whenpulock training camp opened in September. When Reinhart was traded to Edmonton during the NHL draft it eliminated some of the competition for Pulock, but that doesn’t mean he has a guaranteed spot on the Isles’ roster.

“There’s still that competition there,” Pulock said after the first day of minicamp. “It doesn’t give me a free spot. I’m still fighting every inch for a spot, so things really haven’t changed that way. But I guess it’s one less prospect fighting for that one spot.”

The defensive prospect had a strong year in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 54 games, Pulock recorded 29 points (17 goals, 12 assists) and quickly moved ahead of Reinhart in the Islanders prospect pool.

Pulock was called up for the playoffs and it was widely expected that he was going to play in Game 6 before Islanders’ coach Jack Capuano decided to start Scott Mayfield instead. The 20-year-old did find that his playing time in the AHL and the time around the Islanders during the playoffs was very useful.

“I think it’s helped me mature my game a lot,” he said. “Playing in Bridgeport I think I’ve developed some skills that I was lacking a bit defensively. I think I just have to continue working on that. Being up for the playoffs I even learned from there from just watching. Being around the guys and it was a really cool experience for me. It gives me that much more of the itch to make the team and help them succeed into the playoffs.”

This is Pulock’s third mini camp with the Islanders.

Barclays Center is in the middle of constructing the Islanders a “campus” inside the arena as they prepare for the team’s move to Brooklyn this fall. On Wednesday, the media will be given the first glimpse of what the Islanders’ locker room and facility will look like when they move into the venue.

The “Islanders’ campus” will feature an oval shaped locker room, player’s lounge and dining area, treatment and training room, coaches suite, fitness facilities, game video screening room, therapeutic cold tubs, state-of-the-art technology and other amenities.

Construction is slated to be completed by August.


Dal Colle and Barzal trying to making two different impressions at Isles mini camp

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Michael Dal Colle and Mathew Barzal seemed as comfortable as ever with one another as they left the ice after the first day of Islanders minicamp. Dal Colle smirked as he fielded questions at his stall and chirped Barzal — who was drafted 16th overall in the recent NHL Draft — under his breath as the inquisitive media horde began to scatter.

The first day of camp saw Dal Colle and Barzal skate on the same line, with Sebastian Collberg rounding out the unit. Both Dal Colle and Barzal are expected to be impact players with the Islanders, but the two began the week-long camp at much different points in their hockey careers.

Dal Colle has been here before and knows what to expect. The fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft was at last year’s camp, which was held at Nassau Coliseum, so he was much more comfortable when he hit the ice this year.

“I think I’m more confident than last year,” he said. “It was right after I was drafted, so I didn’t know what to expect. Coming from the experience last year, I know what to expect this year. I feel like I’m more confident on and off the ice, and around the facilities here.” To read more of this story, click here


Islanders Point Blank Podcast: Lee, Hickey ink new deals

Brian Compton and Christian Arnold discuss the importance of the contracts signed by Anders Lee and Thomas Hickey. Plus, Brian chats with Arthur Staple of Newsday (9:15) about the signing of goaltender Thomas Greiss, and the possibility of adding defenseman Christian Ehrhoff or forward Patrick Sharp.

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Isles sign six forwards to one-year, two-way deals

The Islanders have signed six forwards to one-year, two-way deals, the team announced (July 2).

Justin Florek, Ben Holmstrom, Bracken Kearns, Justin Vaive, Joe Whitney and James Wright all agreed to terms on NHL/AHL contracts.

Florek, 25, spent last season with Providence of the AHL, notching 11 goals and 24 assists.

Holmstrom, 28, had five goals and 15 assists last season for Charlotte of the AHL.

Kearns, 34, played in Finland last season. He has played 31 career NHL games, split between the Panthers and Sharks.

Vaive, a 25-year-old Buffalo native, had 14 goals and 18 assists last season for Hartford in the AHL.

Whitney, 27, had 23 goals and 37 assists last season for Albany in the AHL, and also played in two games with the Devils, notching his first career NHL goal.

Wright played in the KHL last season. He has played 146 games in the NHL, scoring four goals between the 2012-2013 and 2013-14 seasons for Winnipeg.

Brian Erni

The Islanders desperately need depth up front at Bridgeport. Look no further than the Kael Mouillierat call up last season as proof of that. That’s what these signings are all about. Guys like Vaive and Wright, who are both 25 years old, are still young, but they don’t figure to crack the lineup over the dearth of talents forwards the Islanders have. So outside of a rogue game or two where New York will need a fill in from the AHL, these players should spend most of his year with the Sound Tigers.


Lee excited for future on island


Islanders officially sign Kirill Petrov

The Islanders have officially signed Russian prospect Kirill Petrov to a one-year entry-level contract (Staple, July 1).

Petrov and AK Bars of the KHL agreed to terms on terminating his contract on June 8 so that he could make the move join the Islanders. He had five goals and 10 assists in 47 games with AK Bars last season  (IPB, June 8).

The Islanders drafted Petrov in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The news is finally official. Petrov will be in New York and fans will finally get the chance to see what Petrov has to offer. He will get the chance to compete for a roster spot with the Islanders, but I would be hard-pressed to say it will be easy for him to crack the lineup. He could end up starting the year in Bridgeport — which needs a lot of help at forward — and may be called up during the season due to injuries.

Regardless, it will be fascinating to see Petrov in a New York Islanders uniform.


Isles, Hickey agree on three-year deal

The Islanders and Thomas Hickey have agreed on a three-year deal, worth $2.2 million per year, according to Arthur Staple (July 1).

Hickey was a restricted free agent. In 81 games, he scored two goals, tallied 20 assists, and was a minus-12.

Hickey has 48 points (seven goals, 41 assists) in 202 career NHL games, all with the Islanders. The Calgary, Alberta native led all Islanders defensemen in games last season (81), set a career high in assists (20) and matched his career high in points (22).

The two sides were reportedly working on a new contract for a few days.