Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
In his first NHL game, Sundstrom saw 10:28 of playing time and recorded one shot on goal. He also played alongside Bridgeport teammate Mike Halmo and Casey Cizikas.
Islander Coach Jack Capuano believed the Swedish forward was nervous, but played well in his NHL debut.
“I thought that he competed,” Capuano said. “I’m sure he learned the first couple of shifts that you gotta get pucks in and that these guys are tracking hard. It’s a quicker game, but I thought against the team that he played he did absolutely fine. I was pleased by his game.”
Prior to Friday’s meeting with the Sharks, Sundstrom said he was excited for his first game with the Islanders.
“This is why you work so hard everyday,” he said. “Now the opportunity is here, so I’m just happy to be here.”
Sundstrom was called up from AHL Bridgeport on Thursday to replace the injured Michael Grabner. In 38 games this season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers he has recorded seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. Sundstrom is also one of nine rookies currently on the Islanders roster and has already played with some of the guys in the Isles locker room.
“I know a few guys here and Anders the goalie is also a Swedish guy,” he said. “Besides [at] camp they’ve all been very nice. Especially Frans Nielsen, who’s a Danish guy, taking care of me.”
With his first game in the books, Sundstrom will get another chance to make his mark Saturday night against the Sabres. But in his first game in the NHL his teammates were impressed by his performance.
“[Sundstrom] had a great game for it being his first time,” said Anders Lee. “It’s not easy, there’s a lot of nerves. A lot of extra thoughts going through your head, but I thought he handled it real well.”