With taxi squads a thing again in the NHL (at least until the All-Star break), the New York Islanders called up three players to go on the extra group of players. The three players called up from Bridgeport were: Simon Holmstrom (RW), Cole Bardreau (C), and Grant Hutton (RHD).
If you aren't sure what the rules are around taxi squads, my colleague Matt O'Leary wrote a handy piece the other day detailing the rules around the NHL's taxi squads.
We've seen both Grant Hutton and Cole Bardreau at the NHL level for the New York Islanders before. What they give isn't anything new, but what about Simon Holmstrom?
New York Islanders Simon Holmstrom earned his call up
Holmstrom, a 2019 first-round pick, hasn't necessarily been at the top of the Islanders prospect pool since being drafted. Now in his third year within the Islanders system, I've got the first-rounder ranked 12th in the prospect pool.
But Holmstrom has had a vastly more impactful year with the B-Islanders than in his two previous seasons. His 15 points through 28 games this year have already matched his current career-high from his rookie year in the AHL of 15 points in 46 games.
But it goes beyond production (as it always should). Holmstrom is playing a more consistent game on both ends of the ice this year. Charged with top-six minutes just about every night Holmstrom is having a similar impact defensively as he is offensively.
Of course, he's not dominating the league as some would hope to see from a first-round pick, but you have to remember that playing a consistent game is goal number one in this organization. Play the right way and the points will come.
Consider that when Oliver Wahlstrom was in Bridgeport two seasons ago, the points weren't exactly there. In 45 games he had 22 points. The goal was to get Wahlstrom to learn to play a team game and to learn how to play the pro game. Both lessons have served him well now that he's in the show full time.
That's where Holmstrom is now. Albeit later than Wahlstrom. But the lessons have been learned and he's ready to test himself at the next level.