The NY Islanders announced on Sunday afternoon that they have loaned forwards Aatu Räty & Simon Holmstrom, as well as defenseman Samuel Bolduc to the AHL Bridgeport Islanders.
The Islanders capped off their January with back to back wins after struggling for the majority of the month, having won just two games before consecutive victories over the Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights on home ice. It's safe to say that the trio of players on loan have been the most impressive of the bunch that have been up and down between the minors and with the varsity Islanders squad. Defenseman Parker Wotherspoon is another player that is on recall by the Islanders, however, he was not loaned to Bridgeport and remains on the NHL roster. Wotherspoon has also playd well in his first NHL stint.
Bridgeport will play Sunday afternoon, however, the trio of players on loan will not be in the lineup. They should, however, slot in on Friday and Saturday when the B-Islanders take on the Hershey Bears and Springfield Thunderbirds respectively. Bolduc, the Islanders 2019 second-round drft pick (57th overall) will take part in his second AHL All-Star game in his hometown Laval, Quebec on Feb. 5th & 6th. He made his NHL debut for the Islanders on Jan. 23 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and has played in four games in total. The 22-year-old defenseman is averaging 14:52 TOI and has accumulated four shots, eight hits and two blocked shots thus far. His AHL season that earned him an All-Star nomination has seen him pot eight goals and 18 helpers in 40 games this season. It's fair to wonder how much longer he'll be in the AHL after his appearance in the All-Star game.
Räty has eclipsed the 10-game threshhold on his entry-level slide and will now burn a year off of his entry-level contract. He's seemingly with the Islanders for the long-haul and head coach Lane Lambert certainly likes what he sees on the 20-year-old center.
"He’s growing. He’s learning every day,” Lambert said. “And the nice thing about him is he’s really in tune with what’s going on. You know, he works hard. He works hard off the ice. He works hard with the video. He's going to be good."
In 12 games so far, Räty has potted two goals while averaging just 8:46 TOI. He's mostly been centering the fourth line but has on occassion been seen higher in the lineup with a touch more ice time.
Holmstrom was one of the first recalls the Islanders made due to necessity and because he earned it. In 24 games, Holmstrom has tallied two goals and an assist while averaging 11:23 TOI. He's been noted more for his defensive game than his offense, although when he decides to shoot he can surprise you with a howitzer.
The trio is expecte to take plenty of reps while Brock Nelson and Ilya Sorokin represent the Islanders at the All-Star game and the rest of the team has a nice buy week. It shouldn't come as a surprise to see the majorithy, or all, return when the Islanders are back on the ice on Monday, Feb. 6th.