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Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders

Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders

The New York Islanders COVID situation has brought about a large number of call-ups from the Bridgeport team. While this has not been an ideal situation for the Islanders, it has given several AHL players to show Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello their capabilities in the NHL. While the Islanders await the resumption of their season, here’s a look at some of the Bridgeport Islanders who have had to fill in. 

Robin Salo

Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders

Courtesy of Getty Images

A strong preseason showing garnered a lot of excitement for Salo’s NHL potential. And in his time with the Islanders during this outbreak, he’s shown a lot of promise. He hasn’t looked out of place for a player as young as he is. His trustworthiness on the ice is exemplified in how Trotz has been using him. He’s gotten over 20 minutes of ice time in three out of the four games he’s had to play in. Salo has also been given the opportunity to participate on special teams, particularly the power play. The production isn’t there yet, but watching Salo’s game shows he has what it takes to be a capable NHL defenseman. Even once the COVID outbreak is resolved, Salo may get extended NHL time due to the injury to Ryan Pulock

Grant Hutton

Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders
Courtesy of NHL

Hutton is a 26-year-old defenseman who signed with the Islanders from Miami University of Ohio in 2019. In college, he was an alternate captain for his sophomore and junior years and was the team captain in his senior season. At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Hutton does have an ideal frame for an NHL defenseman. To add to that, he has demonstrated strong offensive ability, scoring as many as 13 goals in college.

His long-term potential role will most likely be within the AHL, joining the NHL squad for a few occasions. While not playing badly, his level play isn’t necessarily game-changing. He’s played well enough to not be a liability to the team while without most of their defensive starters. With his years wearing a letter in college, the Islanders can trust at the very least that Hutton is a high character player who will leave it all on the ice. 

Andy Andreoff

Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders
Courtesy of AHL

Andreoff is a 30-year-old winger who was selected in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He was selected after putting up a career-high 33 goals and 75 points with the Oshawa Generals in 2011. In a funny anecdote, Andreoff himself said he wasn’t expecting to be selected at all in that draft. Despite his high level of success in the OHL, his offensive game never really translated to the NHL. His NHL career-high in goals was when he scored eight in the 2015-16 season with the Kings.

 Since playing 45 games with the Kings in 2018, he’s been mainly an AHL player who comes in and plays a few games with the NHL club. This is his first year with the Islanders after spending the previous two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Given his age and ability, it’s more than likely this will be one of his only stints with the team. However, he does have the distinction of being the only Islander not named Brock Nelson to score at UBS Arena. In fact, he’s the only Islander to score a goal since Nelson suffered a lower-body injury. It was a tip-in goal early in the third period against the New York Rangers in what wound up being a 4-1 loss.

Richard Panik

Getting To Know the Bridgeport Islanders
Courtesy of Getty Images

Richard Panik joined the Islanders through the offseason trade that sent Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings. He came into the league as a second-round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2009 draft. If you remember his name, it’s likely due to his 22 goal and 22 assist season with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016-17. That was without a doubt his best season in the NHL, as the rest of his career is just  average. He has had more success as a scorer than the aforementioned Andreoff, scoring in double digits in seven NHL seasons. But overall he’s lacked the consistency needed to be trusted as a regular. This is shown in how often he’s been moved from franchise to franchise despite the promise he has shown.

Amidst the COVID outbreak, Trotz has given Panik a role on the top line with Mat Barzal and Zach Parise. At the age of 30, it’s highly unlikely that Panik will maintain this role with the team long-term. His best scoring days are behind him, although he still does play a solid enough game to be relied upon to play in the NHL if needed. He’s in a similar role to the one Leo Komarov and Michael Dal Colle had last season as the first bench forward to get a start in the event of injuries. Once the regulars are back Panik will almost certainly be returning to Bridgeport, but could be a name brought back again at some point this season.

Featured image courtesy of NHL

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