It was another busy day on the Island as GM Garth Snow got to work on locking down a pair of guys at the opposite end of the spectrum of their careers.
For the guy at the beginning of his career, 2011 first round pick Ryan Strome impressed everyone in training camp and signed his three-year, entry-level deal with the team and will at least get a nine game audition in the NHL. With the Islanders having John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo, as well as potentially Nino Niederreiter at some point early in the season they’re teeming over with young talent at forward.
Strome had a strong training camp and give the Isles hope that perhaps he can be the next youthful spark to lead them perhaps to the playoffs. He’ll get nine games to show if he means business already in his young career. If he can’t cut it just yet, he’ll head back to Niagara in the OHL.
On the flipside of things, the Islanders also signed up training camp tryout candidate Jay Pandolfo to a one-year deal. Pandolfo is making his return to the NHL after not playing last season. Pandolfo had a long career with New Jersey before being eventually frozen out with the Devils after they felt he’d lost a step in his game.
Pandolfo will plug in as a fourth liner and they’ll hope he can show some of his defensive skills that made him a vital cog of the Devils Stanley Cup teams in 2000 and 2003. At the very least, Pandolfo will give the young Islanders the veteran presence to learn from in the locker room.
We’ve said it in our team preview, but the Islanders are a team worth keeping an eye on this year. They may not be a playoff team, but they’re going to be fun to watch.