Following the news that defensemen Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech have been sent down to Bridgeport, the Islanders are at a 23 man roster with it needing to be made official by 5:00 pm ET tonight. Two notable players that are on this 23 man roster are rookies Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Barzal nearly made it out of training camp last year and it appears that him and fellow 2015 first rounder Anthony Beauvillier have made the team this year out of training camp. I say appears because they have until 5:00 pm ET to make other moves but it seems that they are set. It is also worth mentioning that Barzal and Beauvillier are eligible for a nine game tryout. Here is the nine game tryout situation defined by proicehockey.about.com: “A junior-aged player with a contract can play up to nine NHL games as a trial period. If he is returned to junior before the tenth game, his contract is effectively put on hold: when he goes to training camp the following season, he will be in the first year of his contract. Once the player appears in his tenth NHL game, his contract kicks in. He can still be returned to his junior club after that. But at season’s end, a full contract year will expire.” So right now the Islanders have 14 forwards, six defensemen, and three goaltenders, although apparently one of them, Jaroslav Halak is questionable for the season opener on Thursday at Madison Square Garden…
Capuano said he will know more tomorrow if Halak will be able to play in the opener
— Mark Herrmann (@markpherrmann) October 11, 2016
Hearing that Halak is sick, not injured. We’ll see if he’s well enough to practice tomorrow. — Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 11, 2016
Now here is the opening night 23 man roster by position and in alphabetical order by last name:
Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Jason Chimera, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Nikolay Kulemin, Andrew Ladd, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome, John Tavares.
Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey, Nick Leddy, Dennis Seidenberg.
JF Berube, Thomas Greiss, and Jaroslav Halak.
Eric Boulton and Mikhail Grabovski.
I am aware that my take is an unpopular one. I was one of the many people questioning why Ryan Pulock wasn’t playing for the first 3/4 of last season and I was one of the people questioning why he was a healthy scratch despite playing so well. However, I think this is a different type of situation. It is the opening night roster, it can be changed. Unfortunately injuries due happen in this sport and if one of the Isles six defensemen go down, I am sure it will be Pulock that they are calling up. Same situation for if one of the six aren’t playing well. From a few games during preseason/training camp which I saw either live, on TV, or through highlights, I was very impressed with Barzal and Beauvillier (Ho-Sang too). It appears that Ho-Sang will be starting off the year in Bridgeport but he showed a lot of skill and often looked like the best player on the ice. Don’t be surprised if he gets some time in the NHL at some point this season. Beauvillier showed that he can play at a couple of different positions and in a couple of different situations. He looked strong on the penalty kill and looked like he knew what he was doing whether he was put at a wing or at center. He had a very strong training camp and I am excited to see him play, perhaps he will get more than a nine game tryout. As of now Mathew Barzal plays center and center only. Some might have thought that this meant Beauvillier had the edge over him but it looks like the Isles made enough room for both of them, at least for now. So after nine games the Islanders will have some choices to make, will they keep both of them, one or the other, or neither of them? I liked what I saw from them in the preseason and are happy they are getting spots on the opening night lineup, now they have to prove that they can play against an opposing NHL lineup.