A few observations from the Blue/White scrimmage at Barclays Center Wednesday night:
-- Joshua Ho-Sang, as you all know by now, has some game. Three assists for the White squad and the ability to dangle whenever and wherever he wanted. The two-way aspect of his game still needs work, but there are few well-rounded 19-year-olds out there. That type of creativity and skill will be hard to resist by the time the Isles' 2016-17 training camp rolls around.
-- Anthony Beauvillier scored two of the goals off Ho-Sang feeds. Beauvillier, the 28th overall pick last month, skated at center between Ho-Sang and big winger Ross Johnston last night, though Beauvillier was a left wing on Canada's Under-18 national team last year -- with fellow Isles first-rounder Mathew Barzal at center. Beauvillier had some good moments last night as well.
-- Barzal had a nice setup for Sebastien Collberg for the Blue squad, part of that crew's top line with Michael Dal Colle. Barzal clearly has all the tools as well, particularly his skating. He and Beauvillier likely won't get to stay at the big camp longer than normal, barring something unforeseen (good or bad), but they are the next wave of forward prospects behind Dal Colle and Ho-Sang.
-- Stephon Williams and Eamon McAdam were teammates in the USHL, drafted a round apart by the Isles two years ago and were back together on the Blue squad Wednesday night. Both played well. Williams will likely be Bridgeport's No. 1 goaltender this season, likely sharing duties with Kevin Poulin; McAdam hasn't been able to establish himself as Penn State's go-to starter and this coming season will be a big one for him. He showed some good scrambling ability late in the scrimmage, trying to protect a lead.
-- Ryan Pulock won the hardest shot competition after the scrimmage and had an assist for the Blue squad. All eyes are on him among the defensemen here, as he's in prime position to earn a roster spot three months from now. The scrimmage was nothing special for Pulock, but he's a very low-key player trying to establish his defensive-zone skills more this week, I'd think.
-- Among the undrafted invitees, Miks Indrasis and Charles Bertrand looked strong. Unsurprising for the two oldest players in attendance -- both are 24 and have played in European pro leagues for years. Indrasis has a big frame and moves well, though whether he's willing to come to the big camp and play for AHL money vs. KHL money seems unlikely.
Bertrand, born in France, has been in the Finnish SM-Liiga for four years. Similar to Indrasis, can't see him giving up that European pro dough for the AHL. But they are both on the radar over here now.
-- As for the arena, it was certainly crowded and noisy for a prospect scrimmage in July -- that bodes well for the coming season. The ice was soft, as expected -- this is the third game in three years on it, it's summertime and a brand-new building -- but perhaps not as bad as the players and coaches might have thought.
The ice bears watching throughout this inaugural season. NHL ice guru Dan Craig was on hand Wednesday night, so we'll see what improvements can be made before the preseason rolls around.
-- The team's "campus" didn't look like it was a month away from being completed, but I'm sure it will get done and be as tricked out as the Barclays Center folks have promised. Best moment from the tour: Barclays Center GM Steve Rosebrook telling the assembled media that the players' lounge will have amenities like video games, then turning to Anders Lee to ask what his favorite gaming system was.
"I don't really play video games," Lee said. That's solid leadership right there.