The New York Islanders hosted their annual prospect scrimmage this week and the kids came out and gave the fanbase an early summer show.
Two things came to mind while watching the New York Islanders prospect scrimmage. There is some size in the system, but speed is a top commodity. The game was a fun, low-key competition of three four on four periods with three squads alternating against each other. There were penalty shots instead of penalty kills, very little defense, some pretty good goaltending, a skills competition, and of course, Joshua Ho-Sang.
Here’s what stood out:
Big Ross Johnston, part of the Sound Tigers crew who had a small stint with the big club at the end of last season might be looking to fill Matt Martin’s shoes. He played a pretty mean game and bloodied Kyle Burroughs in a fight during the first period. It didn’t feel like a necessary thing to do in a prospect scrimmage, but he might be trying to impress someone.
Loic Leduc won the hardest shot in the skills competition with a 96 mph blast. Perhaps more impressive than that was the clocking of diminutive defenseman David Quenneville’s shot at 94. There’s got to be a proud Boychuk out there for that.
Michael Dal Colle is just not impressive. I’m not sure what it is about him – and yes, this is just a scrimmage – but there isn’t much excitement to him and he just didn’t seem involved at all.
Colin Markison. This undrafted member of the Sound Tigers is fast, fast, fast. He had good chemistry with Ho-Sang and was making things happen every shift he played.
Ilya Sorokin looks good in an Isles sweater. He is the future of the franchise in net and he gave a little preview of why. He’s quick, poised, and unflappable when under siege.
Finally, there’s Ho-Sang. If he is truly getting it together and set on being a professional, he’s going to be real good. There’s a flair to him that the Islanders can use, not just on the ice. Aside from the speed and natural ability, he sees the ice and the game. He gets too fancy rather than making a smart play, but he is a showman and it’s pretty clear he wants to put on a show.
I liked that he was always back when his defense was pinching. Several times, his defense was caught and he bailed them out (got burned once too, but he was still there).
Hockey on the cusp of July is always a good thing and these kids didn’t disappoint.