Islanders announce preseason schedule

The Islanders released their seven-game preseason schedule, which includes two games in Newfounland, a game at the Barclays Center and one game at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.

The Isles will move to the Barclays Center full time starting in the 2015-16 season.

The full schedule is below:  To read more of this story, click here

Report: Isles Looking Into Del Zotto, 10 Teams After Niskanen

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Islanders are looking at the possibility of signing/acquiring Michael Del Zotto from the Nashville Predators. Nashville GM David Poile said yesterday that Del Zotto is “not a fit” with the Predators. If he is not qualified by the Predators, Del Zotto would become a UFA tomorrow at noon.

Del Zotto is a former first round pick of the Rangers from 2008 and fell out of favor in Manhattan, as he was traded to Nashville in January. He had 16 points and was -9 in 67 total games last year.

One of the biggest defensive names on the market will be Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen, who hits free agency tomorrow. It was reported earlier that the Islanders were looking into the possibility of bringing in Niskanen. Today, Darren Dreger tweets that 10 teams have expressed interest in Niskanen, which make the competition fierce for the defender’s services. It is believed he is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of seven years and $40 million.

Qualifying Offers Due Today

Kevin Schultz

Update, 11 AM: Arthur Staple tweets that the Islanders have qualified Cizikas, de Haan, Donovan, Lee, Poulin, Nilsson, Gallant and Ness. Diamond, Cantin and Magene have not been qualified and will become UFAs.

Original post: Qualifying offers are due to restricted free agents today, or else teams face the prospect of those players being available to other teams as free agents at noon tomorrow. If a player does receive a qualifying offer, they have the option of signing it, holding out for something better, or heading to Europe.  The team still retains their rights to the player if they don’t sign the QO, so if they come back from Europe later on — think Jesse Joensuu — the team would still retain their rights. There’s a great explanation on the details here.

The Islanders have 11 RFAs:

Casey Cizikas

Anders Lee (Arthur Staple noted earlier this week the two sides are close)

Calvin de Haan

Matt Donovan

Anders Nilsson

Kevin Poulin

Matt Mangene

Aaron Ness

Marc Cantin

Joey Diamond

Brett Gallant

The top four (Cizikas, Lee, de Haan and Donovan) are no-brainers to be qualified. Anders Nilsson is headed to the KHL, but I would imagine the Islanders would qualify him anyway to retain his rights (as they’ve done with Rhett Rakshani and Mark Katic in the past) and probably Kevin Poulin too as an emergency option if they can’t find a goalie in free agency. The rest of the list are Sound Tigers with minimal NHL prospects at this point, so that really depends on the organization depth as a whole. Aaron Ness and Marc Cantin could be gone given the influx of defenseman that should fill up Bridgeport this fall.

Islanders Draft Notebook: Day 2 an Uneventful One for Isles

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

PHILADELPHIA — Day 2 of the NHL Draft was an uneventful one for the New York Islanders. General Manager Garth Snow did make some trades on Saturday, but only ones to move back in the draft and acquire picks for the 2015 draft.

In all the Isles made five selections — the team’s first pick of the day did not come until the 78th overall selection — picking two goaltenders, one defenseman and two forwards. None of the Islanders draftees were in attendance at Wells Fargo Center for day 2.

The players in attendance that were selected by other teams were as happy as could be. For all of them being drafted by an NHL club was a dream come true, and it would be hard to say that the players the Islanders selected weren’t feeling the same excitement.

Up next for the Islander prospects will be mini camp, which will likely take place during the second week of July.

Michael Dal Colle seemed to be the consensus choice to be selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders.

The 18-year-old is a skilled forward who many believe will be a big asset for the Islanders. And there is no bigger believer in Dal Colle than Oshawa Generals radio broadcaster Vishal Hussain.

“He’s gonna be a guy that scores 40 goals and puts 100 points,” Hussain told “He could end up being one of the best players in the NHL Entry Draft in 2014.”

The Islanders and their fan base would certainly like for that to be the case. Dal Colle has said he wants to be in the NHL next season, but many, including Hussain, believe he is still a year away.

“I think he should have another year in the [OHL],” Hussain said. “Selfishly I’d like him back in Oshawa as well. He’s a special talent, he’s in line to be the best player in the OHL next season and he needs to bulk up. His 200 foot game still needs to come in, his skating still needs to improve, so I’d say a year away would probably be a good bet scenario. Maybe even two years.

“… It could be two years, but I think one year to get where he needs to be is a safe bet.”

Thanks to Jeff Cox of SB Nation, we here at Islanders Point Blank can bring you a little more information on the Islanders 108th overall pick Devon Toews. Cox covers college hockey for SB Nation and spoke with IPB briefly at the draft.

On Toews’s game:
“He’s just a two-way defenseman and he really took a leadership role, according to [Quinnipiac University Head Coach] Rand Pecknold, among freshman defenseman. He is just a real smooth skating defenseman and he came in from juniors, and they had a great season… I’d say he can go both ways. He’s not overly big, he’s definitely not physical, but I’d say he’s a skilled defenseman”

On what Toews can work on:
“I’d say probably become a little bit more physical and just kind of work on his reads defensively. I think offensively he’s very good. Reads the puck and play well. Transitions up ice well, but I think his defensive game is, I wouldn’t call it a weakness, but I’d say what intrigued [the Islanders] the most was his offensive upside. Kind of like in a Torey Krug type mold.”

On Toews being a more offensive defenseman:
“I’d say so, yeah. And he’s definitely, I think,  a guy thats gonna be a four year college player. He’s not someone thats coming out, I think he’s more of a project.”

Sonny Milano was not wearing an Islander sweater Friday night, but he likely has donned one in the past.

The Columbus Blue Jackets 16th overall pick — a native of Massapequa, NY — grew up a fan of the New York Islanders. In fact his family had season tickets.”I was a big Islander fan growing up,” Milano told reporters at the draft.

After Friday night, his allegiance has surly shifted.

Islanders Select Lukas Sutter 200th Overall

The Islanders selected Lukas Sutter with the 200th pick in the NHL Draft.

Sutter is indeed related to Daryl Sutter. He is the nephew of the Los Angeles Kings Head Coach and son of Rich Sutter. The center man was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft, but did not sign with them.

Last season he appeared in 45 games for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. In that span he scored 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points.

Here is how Hockey’s Future scouted Sutter:

Another in the long line of Sutters that has passed through the NHL, Sutter is a well-rounded player with a mix of offense and grit in his game.  He has the size to be a power forward, and enough ability to be more than just a fourth-line banger.  Sutter may not have high-end talent, but he has enough skill to land second- or third-line duty.

Islanders Trade 185th Pick to Tampa Bay

The Islanders swapped their 185th pick in the draft to the Tampa Bay Lighting.

In exchange the Islanders received the 200th pick from the Lightning, along with a seventh round pick in 2015. Tampa Bay used the pick to select Cameron Darcy.

Islanders Select Devon Toews

The Islanders took defenseman Devon Toews with the 108th pick in the draft.

Toews played at Quinnipiac University last season and recorded 17 points in 37 games. The 20-year old stands at 5’11, 155 lbs.

Prior to joining Quinnipiac, Toews played for the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL for the last two season. In his first year he appeared in 54 games and put 29 points. In his second year there he played in 48 games and recorded 47 points.

Islanders Select Ilya Sorokin with No. 78 selection

The Islanders selected goaltender Ilya Sorokin with the No. 78 pick in the draft.

Sorokin is a member of the KHL’s Metallurg Novokuznetsk. He had a 2.90 goal against average and a .911 save percentage in 27 games last season. NHL Central Scouting ranked Sorokin fifth among European goaltenders available in the 2014 NHL draft.

The Russian goaltender stands at 6’2 and 167 lbs. Sorokin will turn 19 in August.

The Islanders traded the 65th pick to Florida to move back to 78 to make the selection. The Islanders also received a third round pick for the 2015 draft in exchange for the 65th pick.