Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
Update from U.S. Junior Evaluation Camp
Just got off the phone with Assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski, who gave me an update on Islanders prospects Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan's performance at the U.S. junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, NY
Jankowski, who watched both play in two intersquad games, said that while the Islanders have higher expectations for Ness, who the team drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft, Donovan was the one to make the impression.
"We have lower expectations for Matt [compared to Ness] because he was a 4th-round pick and is a guy that will develop over the years, but he was a pleasant surprise for us," Jankowski said.
Jankowski said Donovan, a defenseman who will begin this year at the University of Denver, showed great poise with the puck and exhibited significant improvement from the past couple of years.
"We have a lot of patience for a guy like Matt, who is just going into college and has a decent amount of time to develop as a player while working with high-quality coaches and playing against tough opponents," Jankowski said.
Ness, a defenseman for University of Minnesota, made less of an impression.
"Aaron was fine. He wasn't anything special, but he showed his ability to create offense off the rush and make a first pass," Jankowski said.
"I'm not gonna lie to you and say Aaron was great, but he displayed that he could play at a high level and made a statement by surviving the cuts to play against Russia."
Jankowski predicted that both Ness and Donovan have a chance to crack the roster, but that Ness may have a slightly better shot because of his name and accomplishments. Jankowski was pleased however, that Donovan's play is earning him consideration.
"Matt certainly put himself in the mix," Jankowski said. "We knew he had high-end skill, but the most important thing was that he could show that at a higher level, which he did."