Another team is kicking the tires on Colton Gillies.
Gillies, the 16th overall pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, will head to New York Islanders camp on a professional tryout, per Newsday. This is the second straight year that Gillies, 25, will head into camp on a PTO — last year he went to Buffalo in the same capacity and landed with the club’s AHL affiliate in Rochester, where he went on to score 23 points in 65 games.
A highly-decorated junior player (taken six spots ahead of Max Pacioretty in ’07), Gillies has struggled to find his niche at the NHL level. He appeared in 45 games for Minnesota in 2008-09 — debuting as a 19-year-old — then spent the next few years going back and forth between the Wild and AHL Houston, only to be waived during the 2011-12 campaign.
He was scooped up by Columbus and appeared in 65 games for the Jackets, but wasn’t retained following the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.
It’s not surprising the Isles are taking a flier on Gillies. The club has some success with young reclamation projects — Thomas Hickey, a former Kings first-rounder plucked off waivers, appeared in all 82 games for the Isles last year while Michael Grabner, an ex-Canucks prospect, was also plucked off waivers and has gone on to score 82 goals over the last four seasons.
Note: Colton Gillies is not related to Isles great and Hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies.