The Charlottetown Islanders training camp is well underway.
There was a Rookie Camp, a Rookie Showcase and, finally, the start of main camp in Cornwall at the APM Centre.
Jim Hulton is back for his third season as Head Coach of the Charlottetown Islanders, and his second as General Manager.
His team played in their first Exhibition game this past Wednesday, losing to the Moncton Wildcats 4-2.
On Friday, the Islanders hit the road for the first time, falling 4-2 to the Wildcats in Moncton.
On Saturday, the Isles fell to the Titan in Acadie-Bathurst 6-1.
Training camp will continue this coming week, but the Islanders next preseason action won’t be until September 9 in Cape Breton.
After the start of his third camp with the Islanders, we caught up with Hulton to ask him a few questions:
– There’s lots of talk about Nikita Alexandrov. What have you noticed about him so far and what Isles fans can expect?
“Nikita has displayed good natural offensive instincts in the early portion of camp. We think he will develop into an elite offensive player during the course of the next few seasons and our fans will be excited by his natural talent.”
– Last season I heard you talking about ‘winning the summer’. What did you notice about the fitness level of everyone upon arriving at camp?
“We completed our fitness testing today and were extremely pleased with the results. Both veterans and first-year players appear to have worked extremely hard this summer. Our top cardio testers were Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Matthew Welsh, a true sign of leadership.”
– You’re a longtime coach now, what’s your favourite part about this time of year?
“I love the anticipation that is associated with training camp. It’s very easy to get excited about the new season and I’m always pleased to see our players return. Summer is enjoyable, but we are very happy to be back in the rink.”
– We’ll get you to give a general thought about camp so far and where you are compared to last year and progress on expectations for this season.
“We have many more question marks heading into this camp than the previous two. This will produce a highly competitive camp as we have many roster openings. We hope this will create the daily competitive atmosphere that will drive us to achieve our collective goals during the season.”
Follow the Islanders preseason action at theqmjhl.com and be sure to get your tickets for the season opener at the Eastlink Centre on September 22.