New York Islanders Takaways From Initial Training Camp Groups
Group B – Mathew Barzal
Group B is where we see New York Islanders star Mathew Barzal surrounded by Anthony Beauvillier and Jordan Eberle, just as we saw it last season. By the end second half of the 2017-18 season, the three were on fire.
So it’s good to see that the organization is seemingly committed to keeping them to together. Now I know that being in Group B doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But with the way the groups are laid out, I can’t help but feel this looks like a second line. Anyone else feel that way? Again, it’s probably nothing.
I’d like to see Boychuk paired with Thomas Hickey here simply because I want to limit Boychuk’s minutes. But I can understand not having two offensive defensemen like Leddy and Pulock on the same pair. It’s why the league might not see Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson together, at least not 5on5.
Defensively I like this grouping. Hickey-Pulock is a good duo that compliments each other well. Follow that up with steady Adam Pelech and incredibly promising Noah Dobson. I’m excited to see how close Noah Dobson can get to the NHL this season.
KHL recruit Jan Kovar seems to be centering Tom Kuhnhackl and Josh Ho-Sang. I’m interested to see how Kovar fits in. It seems that a center spot is Brock Nelson’s to lose, meaning Kovar is going to have to excel to dislodge him in the eyes of management.