The NY Islanders announced Wednesday morning they have conducted another series of cuts as the 2022-23 regular season inches closer. Included in the group of cuts are goaltender Jakub Skarek, forwards William Dufour, Simon Holmstrom, Ruslan Iskhakov, and Aatu Räty, all of who have been re-assigned to the AHL Bridgeport Islanders. Additionally, defenseman Isaiah George has been re-assigned to his junior team, the London Knights.
The Islanders cut down to 29 players from 44, and among those who are still in camp and vying for a roster spot are defeseman Samuel Bolduc, Robin Salo, Grant Hutton, Paul LaDue, Sebastian Aho, and fowards Otto Koivula, Cole Bardreau, Nikita Soshnikov, and Ross Johnston. Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows also remain, but it's unlikely either of them are candidates to be sent down to the AHL at this point.
Dufour left a big impression on head coach Lane Lambert in his first professional training camp and Räty impressed just as much. However, early indications from GM Lou Lamoriello were that the Islanders' top prospects were going to need some time in the AHL in order to get adjusted to their first professional season in North America.
The notables who remain with the Islanders for the remainder of preseason that have a strong chance of locking up a roster spot are Soshnikov and Salo. Soshnikov has proven to provide some dynamic skating and speed the Islanders lack, while Salo has been paired with Scott Mayfield since the beginning of training camp and has put on strong performances since the get-go.
There are just two preseason games remaining before the start of the regular season on October 13th against the Florida Panthers at home. The Islanders will take on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, and close out the preseason against the New York Rangers, both at UBS Arena.