ON THE FLY
The Islanders announced the signing of 2022 fourth-round pick defenseman Isaiah George to a three-year entry-level contract. The 19-year-old scored 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 54 games with the OHL’s London Knights last season, leading the team with a +23 rating.
Selected with the pick the Islanders acquired along with Alexander Romanov from the Montreal Canadiens, George was touted by many as a second-round pick but dropped to the Islanders at 98 at last year's NHL Draft. Without many high draft picks in the last four years, George has become one of the Islanders' more exciting prospects, but it remains to be seen if that says more about George or the state of the Islanders prospect pool.
◾️ In The Hockey News, Stefen Rosner caught up with Hudson Fasching, last year’s feel-good story, who is aiming to prove he belongs this season. The 28-year-old may have been a depth signing last August, but he turned into
"They definitely saw me as somebody who was a veteran who could manage call-ups pretty well, going up and down my whole career," said Fasching to Rosner back in April. "I was somebody they could plug into the lineup right away, and so for me, it was just kind of about showing them what other parts of my game I had to offer in Bridgeport."
Fasching’s forechecking, energy, and timely scoring (10 goals) led to him having a role on the third line during the post-season and earned him a two-year, one-way contract that was announced on May 1st. "It was really gratifying, for sure," Fasching told The Hockey News on Tuesday. "It's something that I worked a long time for. I put my family through a lot to continue to play this game, and I'm just grateful that they've been able to just support me through it.
◾️ For The Athletic, Kevin Kurz takes a look at candidates to replace Zach Parise on the roster after learning that the 39-year-old, while not retiring, won’t be at Islanders training camp.
“I wouldn’t say surprised,” captain Anders Lee said at the NHL play tour in Las Vegas. “I think for him, he’s working through everything. It’s tough on your family, being away from them for a season. It’s not easy. He’s got kids in school and starting to play sports and all that stuff.”
As for who can step up and fill the role, Kurz says former Rangers and Senators forward Julien Gauthier is the most likely candidate. Meanwhile, Karson Kuhlman is a responsible depth forward with plenty of experience. Kurz also mentions William Dufour and Ruslan Iskhakov as breakthrough candidates.