I caught up with Dustin Kohn for a few minutes today at IceWorks to chat about his recent call-up with the team.
The 22-year-old defenseman, who made his NHL debut while filling in during Andy Sutton's two-game suspension, was recalled from Bridgeport last night, following the Sound Tigers’ 2-1 shootout-loss to Albany.
“I really don’t know how long I’m going to be here,” said Kohn. “So I just want to make the most of the opportunity and just contribute the best I can and just play solid. Continue to get better every day.”
With the serious injury to Jack Hillen, the Islanders need all the help they can get on the defensive front. Kohn is expected to take Hillen’s place in the lineup when the Islanders begin the four-game road trip Thursday in Carolina.
Though Kohn said his role in somewhat unclear, he did say his confidence has grown now that he’s had a few games under him.
“The more games you play, the better you’re going to feel, the more you’re going to ease into it and kind of find a role and feel more comfortable,” he said. “So I’m just going to keep trying to play solid, keep working hard and go from there.
“I’m not sure how long I’m going to be here. They haven’t said anything. So I’m not going to take anything for granted and make the most of the opportunity.”
When asked about the importance of Kohn getting his feet wet last week, coach Scott Gordon replied: "It is good because I think he gets the first game out of the way, where we used him in a limited role, and now that Jack is going to be out for a while, we’ll try to elevate his minutes and get him to a point where, hopefully, his development is at the same point that Jack’s and even [Andrew] Macdonald’s.
"If we can get him to play the type of minutes that those guys have been able to play and progress in a manner that doesn’t put it over the top for him and allows him to adjust, that would be the ideal situation."
Asked if the constant shuffling between New York and Connecticut has been an issue the last two week, Kohn said: “It’s only an hour away so I didn’t really think about (the travel). I’m just excited to get called back up.”