No. 1 draft pick Simon Holmstrom shows Islanders a bit of his skills
Simon Holmstrom controlled the puck with relative ease along the right wall in the offensive zone. First, he shipped the puck cross-ice with a stick-to-stick pass. Then, after getting the puck back, he again tried setting up a teammate before skating hard to the crease. There, he popped in a loose puck for a goal.
It was a quick glimpse into the skills the Islanders’ scouts saw, leading the organization to select Holmstrom 23rd overall at last week’s NHL Draft in Vancouver.
Holmstrom completed the Islanders’ summer prospect development camp with a goal as his White squad beat Blue, 7-3, in an open-to-the-public scrimmage at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow on Saturday.
Now, the real work begins for the 18-year-old right-shooting wing as he heads back home to Sweden for his summer training before potentially returning to the Islanders’ training camp in September.
“It’s been perfect, just really awesome,” Holmstrom said of the week-long camp. “I learned a lot. I’m just really looking forward to the season and keeping this going.”
The 6-1, 194-pound Holmstrom had seven goals and 13 assists in 21 games for his junior team in Sweden. He knows he will have to adapt his game to North America but believes his style will be well suited to the smaller rinks and the more physical play.
“The game here is a little bit different than in Sweden,” Holmstrom said. “I have to play more of a North-South game and drive to the net harder. I play better when it’s a harder game so I think I will like it.”
Holmstrom was low key about his work on the sequence that led to his goal.
“It’s a bit of what I can do but I know I have more to give,” Holmstrom said. “I was just trying to see the open spots for my teammates and put them in the best position.”