I’ll level with you: I’m pretty excited to see the Islanders get to training camp.
Most of it is professional curiosity. Of all three NY-area teams, it feels like the the Isles have the most pieces in motion that need to get set before the start of the season. The Rangers’ roster seems fairly settled and the Devils’ roster won’t be normalized until Travis Zajac rejoins the team. The Islanders have a lot of parts in motion ... and a lot of those parts still have that shiny newness to them.
Forget the situation surrounding the Nassau Coliseum (non)renovations. Forget that the Isles finished dead last in the Atlantic for the past four seasons. Forget that the rival Rangers inked the best free agent on the market while the Islanders couldn’t convince Christian Ehrhoff to stick around after trading for his negotiating rights. That’s all the past. The future is what the start of the season is all about and the Islanders have a ton of young players that could kindle notions of a playoff run in the next few seasons.
As Insider’s Summer Skate series jumps to the Island, Hockey Prospectus author Timo Seppa provides a projection that John Tavares will make a solid leap forward this season. Moreover, in a separate piece, Insider contributor Neil Greenberg claims that Tavares has a very good shot at