The New York Islanders today decided upon the 23 man roster they will open 2013-14 with on Friday when they visit the New Jersey Devils.
It is a core group of speedy, skilled players with a dose of youth infused in.
Leading the charge were expected honorees Matt Donovan and Brock Nelson. More surprising was the inclusion of Griffin Reinhart, who had an outstanding training camp but did look outmatched on some shifts.
At his young age and given the inexperience he currently possesses at the NHL level, the belief is that he is only sticking around due to the still uncertain status of Travis Hamonic, who suffered an injury in the Islanders last preseason game and is still being evaluated.
If the team was to decide to keep Griffin past 9 NHL games, they would lose a year on his entry level contract, a practice that in the past, has not worked out well with Nino Niederreiter and Josh Bailey in terms of their play on the ice at such a young age.
Ryan Strome was the only other surprise to many across social media channels but not to this staff. We all thought that management wanted him to start in the American Hockey League under Scott Pellerin and get more accustomed to the pro game. This in no way hurts Strome but instead will allow him the proper time and utilization on his way to becoming a solid player for years to come.
Kevin Poulin won the backup goaltender position behind starter Evgeni Nabokov with Anders Nilsson starting the year with the Sound Tigers. Nilsson is ready and focused to make a difference, but he has missed significant time over the past two seasons with a vitamin deficiency, making this choice logical.
The official 23 man roster for the New York Islanders announced by the organization today can be found below….
|Josh Bailey||Matt Carkner|
|Pierre-Marc Bouchard||Matt Donovan|
|Eric Boulton||Travis Hamonic|
|Casey Cizikas||Thomas Hickey|
|Michael Grabner||Andrew MacDonald|
|Matt Martin||Griffin Reinhart|
|Colin McDonald||Brian Strait|
|Matt Moulson||Lubomir Visnovsky|
|Kyle Okposo||Evgeni Nabokov|
|Peter Regin||Kevin Poulin|