Takeaways from Islanders rookie game against Flyers
The Islanders and Flyers met Wednesday in the first of five preseason games between the two clubs. The game took place at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park and was a sold out event. The Islanders and Flyers are no strangers to these rookie games, as they’ve played each other in each of the last three years.
The rookie games are always less about the result and more about the individual players that participate in these games. They don’t mean anything but they could give a glimpse into the future of the franchise. The Islanders lost 6-3 to the Flyers, but it wasn’t from lack of effort. There’s plenty to be had from this game, so let’s dig a little deeper.
The coaches trust Noah Dobson’s
The young first round draft pick was mentioned when discussing prospects who could make the Islanders, and he helped himself out big time with a good performance tonight. Dobson had a secondary assist on Kiefer Bellow’s PP goal and looked comfortable in the defensive zone. The Islanders may have lost 6-3 but Dobson was not the reason.
The coaches clearly trust Dobson, as he was out on the Penalty Kill and started the game alongside D partner Parker Wotherspoon. While not all rookies played today, having Dobson start the game shows that he’s a gamer and can be something special. As said before, these games don’t necessarily mean anything but it’s always nice when a young draft pick shows off some skills.
Kiefer Bellows can be a legitimate goal scorer
Is he the second coming of Anders Lee? Who knows. What ever way you cut it, Kiefer Bellows is a threat to score the goal wherever he is on the ice. While he most definitely needs to improve on his defense and his plodding skating ability, Bellows has a wicked wrist shot and is not afraid to play in front of the net like another power forward on the Isles.
Bellows scored on a PP goal right in front to give the Islanders a 3-2 lead. They gave it right back when he was called for a penalty, but nonetheless he could be that prototypical power forward on the second unit for years to come. Bellows’ biggest knock is his skating, but if he can get that up to par he can be a real scoring threat in the future.
Ho-Sang, Eansor knocking on the door
Josh Ho-Sang is the most obvious candidate to fill a real void on the Islanders’ right side. He is the dynamic right wing the Islanders need, and he showed some poise, maturity and skill in the rookie game. Ho-Sang had an assist on both Pius Suter’s goal and Kiefer Bellow’s PP goal. He played defense as well, although realistically he’s never going to be a defensive forward.
While Ho-Sang may already be a shoo-in to make the team, Scott Eansor is knocking on the door as a potential dark horse to make this roster. He has more of a chance to make the team if there were injuries, but Eansor has essentially come from obscurity to nearly make the Islanders.
Eansor isn’t a very big player at just 5’9, 174 lbs, but he does all the little things right. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none type hockey player. He was the captain of the Seattle Thunderbirds team that also had Mathew Barzal on it, and the two were dynamic together. Eansor broke onto the scene last season when he had 22 points in 59 games at Bridgeport. If Eansor has a good rest of camp, he could easily get called up to the big boy camp and have a shot to make the team. Keep an eye on him as training camp begins.
The Islanders may have lost, but we learned a lot about some of these young prospects. Michael Dal Colle did not play due to an ankle injury and his chances of ever becoming something are dwindling away. This Islander training camp is going to be very interesting, as the young guys are slowly starting to show they can beat out some of the vets. It’s going to be a wild season in Islanderland.
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