NY Islanders: Tristan Lennox needs to run with the opportunity in front of him

Saginaw Spirit v Windsor Spitfires
Saginaw Spirit v Windsor Spitfires / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages

One of the questions coming into NY Islanders training camp this year was regarding the goaltending position. No, not in the NHL, but with the Bridgeport Islanders.

Jakub Skarek signed a two-year extension with the Islanders on July 18 and is the only goaltender with professional experience currently under contract. Skarek spelled Corey Schneider this year but has given up on his hopes to return to the NHL as he'll look to catch on with a team in one of the European leagues.

It was thought the Islanders may bring in a veteran back stopp to split time with Skarek, but it appears that opportunity will go to rookie Tristan Lennox. Lennox spent four seasons with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, including one season affected by COVID.

Lennox was one of the top goalies in the OHL last season, named OHL goaltender of the month in November, and finished runner-up for goaltender of the year. His .888 SV% and 3.15 GAA may not seem like much, but they were among the best in the high-flying junior league. His best performance of the season came the day after signing his ELC, turning away 59 shots in a shutout performance against the eventual OHL champion Peterborough Petes.

One of three goalies at rookie camp with Henrik Takkanen and Brent Moran played with the Worcester Railers of the ECHL, Lennox may be the most talented of the three, on track to start the season in Bridgeport.

Not just a goalie the Isles took a flyer on in 2021, Lennox was selected in the third round (93rd overall) as a netminder the Isles have aspirations for in the future. Despite signing a four-year extension this off-season, Semyon Varlamov is 35 years old. He won't be handling the brunt of starts as Ilya Sorokin has solidified himself as one of the league's best between the pipes, but his time is nearing an end, as Lennox and Skarek will be positioning themselves to take over that role when the time comes. Lennox will have his opportunity in the NHL at some point, and a strong rookie campaign can give him the jump start he needs.