After trickling in over the weekend and attending Monday night's prospects dinner, players arrived bright and early to the Coliseum for physical testing this morning.
No on-ice sessions until tomorrow, but here are a few quick notes from the a.m.
--The team announced that journeyman NHL/AHL center Eric Boguniecki will assist Brent Thompson in Bridgeport; Boguniecki, who played 11 games for the Islanders back in 2006-07, actually played under Thompson last season with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL.
--Boguniecki wasn't the only familiar face for Thompson: the recently-named Sound Tigers head coach was D partners with Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina while the two were playing for the AHL's Providence Bruins in 2004-05 (their coach, of course, was Scott Gordon).
--Speaking of coaches, didn't see Jack Capuano roaming the hallways, but I did see his nephew Max, who is attending camp on an invite. The 20-year-old winger had 33 goals and 50 assists in 43 games for Walpole of the AJHL this season
--Everyone's favorite tattoo enthusiast--Kirill Kabanov--was chumming around with fellow European prospect, defenseman Andrei Pedan, during testing. In between drills, he told me that 1) he is done with Twitter ("It's boring. I'm more of a Facebook guy") 2) he still needs to make some revisions on his newest neck tattoo (No. 17) and 3) his mom is really loving living with him on Long Island.
--When asked to give a scouting report on Niagara IceDogs teammate Ryan Strome, 7th-round pick Mitchell Theoret said: "Can i just say, 'Lights Out'?"
--Theoret, who said he hopes to model his game after his two favorite players Milan Lucic and Cal Clutterbuck, also made sure to point out an under-reported fact about the offensively-skilled Strome: He finished second on the team with 82 PIM this season. "He'll drop the gloves and fight," Theoret said.
--Mainstays Matt Martin, Travis Hamonic and Milan Jurcina were there to check out the new crop of young players coming through; Bridgeport defenseman Mark Katic, forward Rhett Rakhshani, and goalie Kevin Poulin were among the more experienced prospects. in attendance. Said Katic: "I feel like an old man."
--Scary coincidence: Both Bridgeport assistant Matt Bertani and Brent Thompson suffered broken necks this summer. Bertani broke his during a freak hockey play in a summer league game after the season ended in April. Thompson suffered a more minor fracture after a car crash in a charity race back in Alaska this June. Thankfully, both are expected to be fine and will be back on the ice this summer; Thompson this week and Bertani next month.
--Matt Martin already dropped his first of what will be many recreational ping-pong matches in the team's tunnel. Suffice it to say he did not take the loss to teammate Milan Jurcina well.