The New York Islanders have trimmed their training camp roster down. Way down. What’s left now is essentially what you’ll see for the remainder of the 2017-18 NHL season.
At the start of the New York Islanders training camp roster, there were 52 players on the list. A total of 31 forwards, 16 defensemen and five goalies were brought into camp. Now only 25 players remain.
And you know what? Only two goalies! I know!
The Isles had already trimmed some players down days prior. Kieffer Bellows, the Islanders first round pick from 2016, had already been let go on the 22nd of September. Not before signing a fresh three-year entry-level contract.
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As I said, it leaves another 25 players on the roster. None of which should surprise you at the very least. The rookies we all thought would make the team did just that. All of Mathew Barzal, Joshua Ho-Sang and Ryan Pulock made the team.
How Doug Weight spreads these kids around is anyone’s guess. But they’ve made the team. Hurdle number one has been achieved. Now it’s to prove themselves on the big ice. Not literally big, but figuratively big.
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Ho-Sang and Pulock got extended stints in the NHL. Pulock got 21 games between the regular season and the playoffs in 2015-16 for seven points. He’s going to get a much longer stint this season.
Only Two Goalies
But if there’s any respite for New York Islanders fans, it’s that only two goalies remain. For two straight seasons, the Islanders carried three goalies on the active roster. That won’t be going on for a third term.
Much to the relief of both fans and Jaroslav Halak.
Halak and Greiss will carry the load in the blue paint for the Isles. Christopher Gibson and newly acquired Kristers Gudlevskis have both been sent through waivers to be assigned to the AHL.
No longer will Jean-Francois Berube be burning a spot on the Islanders active roster and on the scratch pad. They can fill that void with a defenseman they’ll actually need this season. That’s you, Scott Mayfield. Sorry, buddy. But that’s your future for now.
This 2017-18 roster feels pretty good. I know it’s not 100% complete yet, but it still feels great. Only two goalies and a bunch of exciting prospects to cheer for. Some don’t feel the Islanders are a playoff team, but I can’t help but think they’re right in the discussion.