Islanders Point Blank Podcast: Brock Nelson calls in

NHL.com’s Brian Compton welcomes one of the Islanders young stars, forward Brock Nelson to the show. The guys discuss how Brock is keeping busy in the offseason, the improvements he’s making on the ice, and if he prefers playing center or wing. Plus, Brian catches up with defenseman Kevin Czuczman during mini-camp at Nassau Coliseum.

For the show rundown, click here...

  • Islanders mini-camp recap
  • Forward Brock Nelson calls in
  • Defenseman Kevin Czuczman interview

Oh Yeah… Denis Potvin

SNY’s new show, Oh Yeah…, reflects on the Ranger fans classic reaction to Denis Potvin during his career with the Islanders.

Oh Yeah… takes viewers on a trip down memory lane by re-visiting the most entertaining, offbeat, and perhaps forgotten local sports topics over the past 40 years with each episode devoted to a specific year. New episodes air Sundays at 10 pm on SNY.

Thoughts and Observations from the Isles Blue & White Scrimmage

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Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islander prospects took part in the annual Blue & White Scrimmage Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Overall it was a success for everyone one involved. The players enjoyed the chance to play a competitive game, the fans got to see hockey in july and the Islanders were able to get 4,000 fans to come to Nassau Coliseum in the middle of summer.

As for evaluating talent during Thursday night’s scrimmage — or for that matter during the course of the week long mini camp — it is always a challenge. These camps are for the coaches to learn a little bit about the players and instill in them a little bit of what NHL life is like. For the players it’s the same thing. They are getting to know the organization and learning what it takes to be a pro athlete.

The scrimmage is the first real chance to see how the prospects play in a competitive situation, but even then it’s hard to make any concrete assessments. With just two days of practice how comfortable can everyone be with one another yet.  To read more of this story, click here

Poulin has arbitration hearing on July 30

Kevin Poulin has an arbitration hearing scheduled for July 30 (TSN, July 11).

The Islanders and Poulin can continue to negotiate leading up to the date to avoid heading to arbitration.

Poulin made $577,500 during the 2013-14 season.

Reinhart Has Eyes Set on Making it to the NHL This Season

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Griffin Reinhart isn’t looking to start the 2014-15 season in scenic Connecticut. The 20-year-old defenseman wants to be in the NHL on October 10th when the Islanders open their season in Carolina against the Hurricanes.

The fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft spent last season in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he won the memorial cup and was named MVP of the WHL Championships. Now Reinhart’s goal is to make it in the professional ranks. To read more of this story, click here

Updates from Islanders mini camp…

Training camp set to be competitive one for Isles

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Training camp is still two months away, but with the Islanders aggressive offseason, it is already shaping up to be one of the most competitive camps in quite some time.

“I don’t think you can look at any two guys and in particular point guys out,” Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano said following the first day of Islanders Mini Camp. “When training camp rolls around for the first time if we’re healthy, with the competition that we have, the guys that come in with the habits that we want, the work ethic that we want, the discipline that we want are  the guys that are gonna be in the lineup. It’s our time now and we have to win hockey games.”

The offseason signings have — on paper — made the Islanders a better team. The additions of two top-six forwards in Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski make the Islanders more of a scoring threat, but also raises questions of which forwards will be with the team on opening night.

“I don’t think you point out a couple guys in particular or look at what their contract status is. If I was a forward right now looking at our roster I would be ready to go in September,” Capuano said.

Barring any trades before camp in September the Islanders will have 16 forwards under contract. Capuano seemed positive about not just the competition that brings, but also about the depth the Islanders have.

With the Islanders missing out on signing Thomas Vanek the question still remains regarding who will play with John Tavares on the wing. The abundance of forwards, according to Capuano, allows the team to “experiment” with who will fill that role.

“Obviously every year everybody asks the question who’s going to play with Johnny. I think now we have some options,” he said. “We have some guys that can play center that can also play the wing. That are very determined players that play with the grit that we want, so we have options now. When september comes around — preseason — we’re going to experiment and some different things.

“We have depth now in our organization. We have other guys we signed July 1 that can be an integral part of this team as well, so I’m excited about it.”

Defensively the Islanders also have some big questions and the competition will be just as intense. Especially for some of the younger players trying to make the roster like Griffin Reinhart, but don’t expect any players in mini camp to get a jump on the competition.

“The fate of our lineup will be determined in training camp, Capuano Said adamantly. That’s all I can tell you. The guys that come in and want to earn an opportunity that we feel can help us win in game one are gonna be the guys that play. End of story.”

Dal Colle using Mini Camp to ‘get to know the organization’

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Michael Dal Colle took his first spin on Nassau Coliseum ice Tuesday as a member of the New York Islanders.

Though the fifth overall pick may never play an NHL contest in Uniondale, it was the first look at what will be in the Isles future. The talented prospect took part in the second on-ice skate during Tuesday’s camp and admitted he was a little nervous coming into his first session with his new team.Michael Dal Colle

“I was definitely pretty anxious coming in,” he said. “Now that I got it out of the way it’s kind of a load off my shoulders for sure. But it was good.”

Prospect camp is as much about getting to see what a prospect can offer as it is about getting to know the players. And for the players to get to know the organization and future teammates. “I don’t know too many guys here so I’m trying to get familiar with my surroundings, but it’s been pretty busy today,” Dal Colle said.

“This is my first time here,” he later added. “So it’s definitely new and I don’t know too much about Long Island and I don’t know too much about the facility, so I’m just trying to see what it’s all about. It’s definitely a big part of it.”

On the ice Tuesday Dal Colle looked good during the drills. The Ontario native had a good looking shot and some of his offensive know-how was on display. However, mini camp — especially on day one — is a hard place to truly judge talent and Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano won’t be doing so this week.

“I’ve been through these camps quite a bit and, as I told the guys, we’re not here to judge and evaluate players,” Capuano said. “We know they’re good players. We’re here this week to get to know them and thats more or less what I want to accomplish this week.”

Isles re-up with Stockton Thunder

The Islanders and Stockton Thunder of the ECHL have renewed their affiliation agreement for the upcoming season (Islanders, July 8).

Fourteen players spent time in Stockton and with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Isles’ AHL affiliate last year.

“We are thrilled to once again have the Stockton Thunder as our organization’s ECHL affiliate,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said in a release. “The Thunder do a great job of developing players from the ECHL, to the AHL, and eventually the New York Islanders.”