After getting a taste of the National Hockey League in recent weeks, New York Islanders prospect D Isaiah George was assigned to the OHL on Thursday for what will be his final season in juniors with the London Knights. It was a successful rookie and training camp for the smooth-skating 2022 fourth-round pick after signing a three-year entry-level contract earlier this month.
The 19-year-old made his NHL pre-season debut against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden and while he had some teachable moments, it was a positive step forward.
“His first game is great learning experience for him,” head coach Lambert said after the game. “[He needs to] learn to get back to pucks a little quicker and move the puck a little quicker. Every young player goes through that. I liked the fact that he gutted it out and played through what he had.”
In the opening seconds of the game, George made a turnover which led to Kappo Kakko's goal 15-seconds into the game. Later in the first period, he was hit from behind by Matt Rempe as he went to retrieve a puck behind the net and fell awkwardly into the boards. He was shaken up on the play but returned to play 14:40.
Last season with London, George scored 22 points (7G, 15A) in 54 games and led the team with a +23 rating. After playing 20 games during the Knights 2023 playoff run to the OHL Finals, George is poised to be a team leader and source of offense on the blue line in his third and final junior season.
He'll be able to join Bridgeport at the conclusion of the OHL season.