Inside the Islanders: A look back at 2017
For the Charlottetown Islanders, 2017 was a successful year to say the least.
Though he was at the helm of two teams that could not be more different, Islanders Head Coach and General manager Jim Hulton has found new ways to win and has changed the culture of his team in his short time with the franchise. Over the past two seasons, the Isles have a record of 45-18-5-0, a mark any team would be envious of.
Last season’s Islanders squad will be best remembered for the high scoring offence including the likes of NHL prospects Daniel Sprong, Filip Chlapik, Guillaume Brisebois, Nicholas Meloche, Alex Dostie, and Carl Neill, with the team earning the identity of one of the league’s top teams.
But this season, in what many thought would be a rebuild for Hulton and his staff, the Islanders forged a new identity. One of grit, hustle and tenacity that has seen the team use an effective style of play that has the Isles sitting 8th in the QMJHL only 5 points back of the Maritime Division leading Halifax Mooseheads with two less games played.
Players like Pascal Aquin and Keith Getson have bought into Hulton’s system and have enjoyed career-best seasons while also playing a major role in the team defensively. The Isles have the 6th best penalty killing unit in the league with both players playing huge roles on both of the Islanders special team’s units.
And how can we talk about 2017 and not mention the tremendous play of Matthew Welsh?
Welsh, who shared playing time with Mark Grametbauer and Blade Mann-Dixon last season, has taken control of the Islanders crease this season and hasn’t looked back.
So far this season Welsh has been considered the MVP of the Islanders by teammates and staff alike, and he sits near the top of the league in almost every goaltending category including goals-against-average, where he sits 4th with a GAA, 2.35, and save percentage where the 18-year-old is 5th in the league.
The Islanders are back in action at home on Thursday, Jan. 4th as they play their first game of 2018 taking on the 3rd ranked Rimouski Oceanic. Puck drop is set for 7PM.
You can get your tickets online or by calling the EastLink Centre Box Office at 902-629-6625.