Michael Grabner said he’s holding out hope he’ll be selected for one particular portion of the skill competition for this upcoming weekend’s All Star Game.
“Hopefully, the fastest skater,” Grabner said. “But whatever I do I’ll be happy with. It’s just great to go there.”
The 23-year-old Austrian winger, claimed by the Islanders off waivers in October, has used his speed to his advantage since joining the team.
Tied for fourth among rookies with 14 goals, Grabner enters tonight's game with seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in the last seven games.
The 23-year-old former first-round pick is the team’s sole representative for the festivities in Raleigh, North Carolina
“I haven’t really been told much so far. I’m just going there to enjoy the moment,” Grabner said. “It’s a big honor obviously, so I’m just going to go there and have fun.”
Coach Jack Capuano said he doesn’t feel that 20-year-old rookie goaltender Kevin Poulin’s development will be stunted with his current stint in the NHL.
“I think sometimes you can hurt a player’s development, bringing him up too fast. But at the same time, a guy getting a taste early in their career can be a good thing,” Capuano said. “If he gets sent back to the minors, they know exactly what they have to do, and what their work ethic has to be on and off the ice, their focus and preparation.”
Defensemen Mark Streit and Milan Jurcina both skated Wednesday morning on their own.