Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 8/7/13


Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s still the offseason, so NHL fans are still in calm-before-the-storm mode. Or more appropriately, the calm-before-the-morning-skate mode.

With little in the way of breaking news, the hockey world has focused on national junior hockey development camps. We here at EYES are no different.

So let’s talk about Taylor Cammarata. Yes, the 5-foot-7, 156-lb centerman drafted in the third round (no. 76 overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. That Taylor Cammarata.

You know, the guy who led the USHL in scoring with 93 points (38 G, 55 A) in 59 games as a member of the Waterloo Blackhawks? The one who some NHL scouts said would never make it to the pros? Yeah, that guy.

While many Islanders fans may have been left scratching their heads after Cammarata’s name was announced on Draft day, he’s spent the better part of the summer making a name for himself on the ice.

As a member of the White club at the USA Junior Evaluation Camp, he most recently netted a goal and recorded two assists in his team’s 5-2 victory over Finland in Lake Placid, NY.

And it seems that the coaching staff is taking notice.

Cammarata survived the camp’s first round of cuts, although that doesn’t necessarily guarantee him a roster spot when the U-20 team heads to Malmö, Sweden for the World Junior Championships in 2014.

What it does guarantee is that Cammarata’s name will be in the news for at least a little while longer. Considering his high hockey IQ and playmaking ability, Isles fans are hoping it stays that way for a long time.

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

Offseason Q&A: Detroit Red Wings (EOI)

Cal Clutterbuck Meets Islanders Fans at Nassau Coliseum (Newsday)

Metropolitan Division Preview (Yahoo)

Cammarata Shows Off Skills in USA White Win (New York Islanders)

Teams Whose Stanley Cup Window is Closing Rapidly (Bleacher Report)

The Quick Report (Prospect Park)

Now the Real Work Begins for Phoenix Coyotes After Sale to IceArizona (Bleacher Report)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

As one of the newest Islanders, Cal Clutterbuck spent some time with Isles fans at Nassau Coliseum last night, signing autographs outside the Team Store. Based on the turnout, I’d say Cal has more than a few fans on Long Island already.

Like Vinny shows here, for a team with “no fans,” the line at the Clutterbuck autograph signing was impressive. Reports from the Coliseum indicate people were lining up as early as two hours before the scheduled 6:00 p.m. start time.

Something tells me this item was a hot commodity at the Coliseum Team Store last night. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that sales reps had to go into the stockroom to replenish the No. 15 merchandise on the shelves.

This is exactly the style of hockey the Islanders want to play: a knock-down, drag-out, grinding game that leaves opponents worn down and wishing that they could skip to the end. Between Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, it’s a safe bet to say that the Isles will lead the NHL in hits again this season.

The good news is: you don’t have to pay. Just wear a New York Rangers jersey within 1,500 feet of the Coliseum.

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.