Islanders Loan Kirill Kabanov to MODO (Sweden)

Kevin Schultz

The Islanders have agreed to loan prospect Kirill Kabanov to MODO of the Swedish Elite League for the remainder of the 2013-14 season, according to MODO’s website. Kabanov had been playing for the Islanders in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he has three goals and no assists in 16 games. 

It’s been a rocky season for Kabanov, who earlier in the year was demoted by the team to Stockton of the ECHL for about a month. That was, possibly, for disciplinary reasons although the reports at the time varied. He was recalled from Stockon in mid-November and has been in and out of the Sound Tigers lineup as a healthy scratch since then. Kabanov has played in only three of the team’s last nine games.

Kabanov, 21, was originally a third round pick of the Islanders in 2010. His three-year entry level contract is set to expire after the 2014-15 season.

MODO had been looking to add players to their team, as they currently face a few injuries and players leaving. They sit in 9th of 12 teams in the SEL standings with 16 games remaining.

Three Prospects Headed to WJC

Last year, the Islanders had three prospects compete in the World Junior Championships and this year they’ll match that number again. All of the players are defenders and were selected by the Islanders in the 2012 draft; Griffin Reinhart (1st round), Ville Pokka (2nd round) and Adam Pelech (3rd round).

Reinhart will be competing for the second year in a row for Team Canada. He’ll have to sit out the first three games of the tournament following a suspension he incurred last year. It adds a little extra importance to Reinhart’s selection, as the Canadian selection committee overlooked the problem of carrying a suspended player for a few games. Regardless, he’s still one of the best defenders on the team and (the best) in the Islanders system.

Joining Reinhart on Team Canada for the first time will be Adam Pelech, a third round pick in 2012. Pelech has 24 points and is +23 in 34 games this season for the Erie Otters, the best team in the OHL.

Another returning player will be Ville Pokka playing for Finland for the third year. Pokka missed the Islanders prospect camp this summer due to military obligations but is playing well at home in Finland’s top league. He has 13 points in 32 games and is a +20. Pokka’s stats are even better considering that he has averaged more than 21 minutes of ice time per game for first place Karpat. It’s unusual to see a 19-year old play such an important role.

Morning Skate: Roster Freeze Means No Major Roster Changes, Donovan Producing

Kevin Schultz

Each December, the NHL institutes a holiday roster freeze for the entire league. It’s basically assuring the players that no one will get unexpectedly traded across the continent while enjoying a holiday meal. The freeze kicked in at midnight on the 19th and runs through midnight on the 27th.

During this time teams aren’t allowed to make trades or make waiver moves. That means you can put down the pad of paper you had furiously written Islanders trade scenarios on for one week. Emergency recalls are permitted though, so if injuries become a factor a team won’t have to skate with three defensemen or something like that.

Here’s the full language of the rule, if you’re interested.

The Islanders have a sort of schedule freeze of their own. After playing tonight at the Garden, they have two more games Saturday and Monday before four days off. Aside from the Olympic break, that ties for their longest break of the whole season. There’s also another four-day break in March. But please, try not to kill each other on Twitter during the break.  To read more of this story, click here

Ryan Strome Discusses His Debut

At the NY Hockey Journal, Christian caught up with Strome about his thoughts on his first NHL game Saturday night.

“I was more comfortable than I thought,” Strome said after the game. “These guys make the game easy. They talk a lot. Obviously I’m coming in here blindfolded a little bit. Not too sure what to expect, but my linemates helped me out a lot. The game is a bit easier down here, in the sense that everyone is in the rights spot. It’s not as chippy. It’s obviously faster, but for my skill set it fits nicely.”

Read more here

Strome Set to Make NHL Debut Tonight

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Ryan Strome played it cool during his time with the media after the Islanders’ morning skate, but it was easy to tell the 20-year-old was excited to be finally making his NHL debut.

“It’s exciting,” Strome said about being called up. “I feel like the carrots been dangling in front of me for a little bit now, especially this last week. I’m eager to get out here and get the puck dropped.”

Stome was officially called up from AHL Bridgeport on Wednesday, but the Islanders coaching staff kept him out of Thursday’s game against Phoenix in order to give him more time to prepare for the NHL. That sets the stage for Strome to make his debut at home against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. To read more of this story, click here

Photo: On the Ground in Phoenix

Reader Josh sends us this photo from his hotel in Phoenix with the caption “Strome has arrived”.


Remember folks, if you see strange unattended bags please alert the proper authorities.  If you see something, say something.

Two Isles Prospects Named to Canada’s Junior Camp

Today, Team Canada announced a 25-man roster for its junior team selection camp that will start on December 12th. That means there will only be a few cuts to come for Canada, which opens the World Junior Championship action on December 26th in Sweden.

Two Islanders prospects were named to the camp roster and both are defenders; 2012 first-round pick Griffin Reinhart and 2012 third-round pick Adam Pelech.

Reinhart has 10 points and is +5 in 18 games for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings so far this season. Pelech has 20 points and is +19 in 28 games for the OHL’s Erie Otters. Erie is 23-4-1 on the year and currently holds the best record in the OHL.

Reinhart will sit out the first three games of this year’s tournament as a result of a suspension carrying over from last year.

Pelech Leading Erie to Hot Start in the OHL

Kevin Schultz

Yet another of the Islanders defensive prospects currently in the pipeline is Adam Pelech, drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft. He’s performed well and is high on the radar of Hockey Canada. Pelech was offered an invite to Canada’s World Junior Camp over the summer but had to withdraw due to a wrist injury. 

Healed up and ready to go, Pelech is leading his junior team on a surprising run.  To read more of this story, click here