Prospect camp ended for the young Islanders hopefuls Saturday. For a select few of the 45 or so on hand, the next two months will be a prelude to the full training camp.
Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier got their first taste of Islanders life this past week. The team's two first-round selections from two weeks ago already had each other to lean on before this week even began. They were linemates and roommates for Canada at the Under-18 World tournament in April in Switzerland, where they earned bronze medals.
So they were roomies again this past week, though not linemates. Barzal centered 2014 first-rounder Michael Dal Colle and Sebastian Collberg. Beauvillier centered Josh Ho-Sang, the other 2014 first-rounder, and Ross Johnston.
The friendship begun three months ago has grown now that Barzal and Beauvillier likely will be teammates in a few years.
"We were roommates at the Under-18. He's one of my good friends now," said Beauvillier, who had two goals in Saturday's scrimmage to go with the two he scored in Wednesday's scrimmage at Barclays Center. "We get in touch even during the season away from Under-18s. I'm excited we're drafted by the Islanders, we're roommates right now. He's a sick guy. I love him."
Barzal displayed plenty of the skating and creativity this past week that he showed with Seattle of the Western League. Those were the main reasons Garth Snow dealt Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for the 16th pick to select Barzal, who was sixth on the Isles' draft chart in the deepest first round in a decade.
"It's been a fun week. I've just tried to soak it all in," Barzal said. "There's some great guys to learn from here, guys like [Alan] Quine and Mikey [Dal Colle]. I have a lot to learn."
Parker Wotherspoon, the Isles' fourth-round pick last month, also was on Canada's Under-18 squad and was one of that tournament's scoring leaders for defensemen. All three will be back in September for the primary training camp, along with some others who got their feet wet this past week.
It's only the beginning for Barzal and Beauvillier, who likely know a few weeks with the Isles will be followed by a return to juniors. Seattle for Barzal, Shawinigan of the Quebec League for Beauvillier.
"It'll be a pretty nice experience," Beauvillier said. "I'll come here, have fun, play my game. I'll probably not make the team this time, so I can just enjoy it, experience it and learn from the guys like John Tavares. I'll be so excited for that. I can't wait."
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