Amid the NY Islanders' lack of first-round picks over the past four seasons, the organization has managed to keep their prospect pool treading water, finding some quality players later in the draft. Prospects like Matthew Maggio, William Dufour, and Isaiah George have become known names among Islanders fans, but a new name hopes to join the conversation this year in Cameron Berg.
Berg was drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round (125 overall) in 2021, after a 58-point season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. Committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Berg spent the next two seasons with the Mavericks, contributing 23 and 24 points respectively during his two years.
Following last season, Berg entered the NCAA's transfer portal, where the West Fargo, ND native committed his future to the University of North Dakota.
“I wanted to stay in the NCHC,” Berg told the Grand Forks Herald about his time in the transfer portal. “I think it’s the best conference to develop your game and play in. When I entered the portal, a couple of teams reached out — North Dakota being one of them. Talking with them, my family, and my advisor, we felt like this was going to be the best decision for me.”
With two games under his belt now with the Fighting Hawks, Berg hopes to take his game to the next level and catch the eye of the Islanders, playing for what is currently the number-five team in the nation.
Berg found the score sheet in each of his first two games in green and black, scoring a goal in a 7-2 trumping of Army in the first game of the season and added an assist in a shutout victory at home against Wisconsin and fellow Islanders prospects Quinn Finley and Zach Schulz.
A 6'0", 192 lb. two-way center, Berg has had his name etched into the top 6 for his first two games. He likes to hound the puck carrier on the forecheck as they try and exit the zone with a never-ending motor and has begun to show more skill in his offensive game. His two-way play will see him as a pivotal piece of North Dakota's hopes for a ninth National Championship.
“For a center, you’re always down low working with the defensemen a lot,” Berg told the Grand Forks Herald. “So when we are doing D-zone coverage in practice, I’m making sure I’m in the right spots, and I’m communicating with the ‘D.’ Communication is huge. If you’re not doing it, things don’t go right. It’s making sure I’m doing all the little things right to prepare myself.”
He may have been an afterthought since being drafted, but with an impressive 2023-24 season, Berg can see his name rise in what isn't a very deep Islanders prospect pool.