Räty and Islanders prospects talk skating with NHL players: ‘It’s quite an experience’

During the week of development camp, New York Islanders prospects competed against each other, trying to prove to Bridgeport Islanders head coach Brent Thompson that they had what it took to play at a high level. But it’s a whole new ballgame when you take on NHL regulars with Islanders head coach Lane Lambert on the ice.

“It’s been quite an experience,” shared 2022 fifth-round pick Matthew Maggio after two days of skating with the big guys. “[I’m] become more comfortable there now with them. But again, adapting to that pace, I mean getting into development camp, from OHL level to pro level, then again with NHL level.

Maggio skated with a group of NHL players like Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, Kyle Palmieri, Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, to name a few. On Friday, he was paired with Nelson for some drills.

“It’s really cool to hang out with guys that you grew up watching, idolized and stuff like that. And I think they’ve been great so far, giving tips and tricks, and that they were really welcoming, including you, and it feels good there.

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As for what Maggio has learned so far, it’s the little things that many don’t see when watching games at full speed.

“It’s just the little things that they do so well, and you kind of pick up on the things that you don’t see on TV,” Maggio said. “I try to be a sponge and watch them when I’m not going, and there’s definitely a lot of things that I kind of picked up on, how good they are on the wall and small things they do to kind of create turnovers and get passing lanes and stuff like that.

With New York head coach Lane Lambert on the ice, it’s unique for young players who haven’t worked with an NHL coach before.

“I think he’s been great so far. Obviously he demands a lot, but he’s fair,” Maggio explained. did a great job of being nice to everyone and kind of coming and if he sees something he wants you to do better then he’ll tell you and if you’re doing a good job at something he will tell you.

“So I think he’s done a great job so far, kind of balancing it out and obviously practicing, he’s been high intensity there, and it feels like a real NHL workout. .”

2020 fifth-round pick William Dufour, who is in Islanders training camp for the first time, is having a new experience with Lane Lambert.

“It’s probably the first time I’ve practiced or played in front of an NHL coach on the ice. I think I’m training pretty well right now, so that’s good for me.

William Dufour skated in a group with names like Anders Lee, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Oliver Wahlstrom, Casey Cizikas and Ross Johnston, to name a few.

He’s been on a line with Johnston and Cizikas as it looks like a bottom-six role is where they see the 20-year-old fitting in at the moment, given his style of play.

Dufour, known for being a shooter, has a defensive element to his game that fits the New York mold.

“You just have to train with the pros, they’re good hockey players, and train alongside them…that’s good too,” Dufour said. “I mean, just watching them play, watching them practice good habits… just watching that, it’s just enjoyable, and it can just improve my game.”

That’s not to say his role has to be on the fourth line, given his offensive abilities, but surely being a big guy, 6’2, 215lbs, he can learn a thing or two from a guy like Johnston d. a physical point of view. and the granularity of my guy like Cizikas.

2021 second-round pick Aatu Räty, attending his second training camp since being drafted, once again enjoyed skating with the NHL players. Räty is in the group with Maggio and skates with Palmieri.

“It’s good. It’s nice to be with great players and learn from them and see what they do,” Räty explained. not too many mistakes. It makes you realize that it’s all in these little things, just being reliable and just not making mistakes, being solid.

“You absolutely have to be confident to do these drills, even if you miss a pass, or some kind of softy, you’re still going to keep your head up and be ready for the next thing.”

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