The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season is fast approaching and the players are preparing for another season of junior hockey. But before the Islanders hits the ice for their season opener, four Islanders players will be heading to their respective NHL training camps.
Defenceman Guillaume Brisebois will attend his second training camp with the Vancouver Canucks. The 19-year-old says the opportunity to be on the ice with professionals helps you grow as a player.
“Not only on the ice, but also off the ice, you can learn a lot from the pros. You can learn how they prepare for a game or how they work in practice. All of it can really help you as a player.”
Brisebois spent the last three seasons with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan before being dealt to Charlottetown at the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. Ahead of what should be a big season for the Islanders, he has high expectations for how he performs at the Canucks camp.
“I want to play the best I can and make a good impression, you never know what can happen in a training camp. I want to continue to grow from that camp to be able to give that experience to the younger guys on our team.”
Cody Donaghey, another defenceman the Islanders acquired in the off-season, is headed to his third NHL training camp.
After going undrafted in the 2014 NHL Draft, he was invited to camp and signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, Donaghey was a part of the trade that sent Dion Phaneuf, along with himself, to the Ottawa Senators.
Before the 20-year-old will stand on the Islanders backend, he is looking forward to the opportunity to impress in Ottawa.
“Getting the opportunity to rub shoulders with guys you’re used to watching on TV is pretty cool. It definitely makes you a better player being on the ice with them and seeing how they conduct themselves.”
After two successful camps in Toronto, Donaghey has trained hard to be in the best shape possible for this NHL training camp.
“I will show up in shape and ready to work. I always just try to learn as much as I can and take everything in.”
Charlottetown native Kameron Kielly is entering his fourth full season with the Islanders.
After going undrafted in the 2015 NHL Draft, Kielly was an invite to the Pittsburgh Penguins camp last year. This year, the LA Kings have invited the hard working centre to camp.
“The experience at my first pro camp was an eye opener and a good one at that,” Kielly said. “I learned a lot about what it took to be a pro on a day to day basis last year and I’ve tried to apply it to my game as well as my off ice habits.”
Kielly, who missed 20 games because of an injury, had 42 points in 48 games and then seven points in 12 playoff games. The 19-year-old expects to have a good showing in his first camp with the Kings.
“I’m going to go in and work hard every day and learn each day that I am there. Obviously, at the end of the day I want to sign a pro contract and if I get the opportunity to do so that would be great but I am going to take it day to day and make the most of the opportunity.”
Filip Chlapik is also headed to an NHL training camp. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the 2015 draft and attended camp before last season. He heads to his second camp with the Senators this week.
Chlapik had a big season with the Islanders last year, putting up 54 points in 52 games. He also played with his home country of Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships.
The Islanders season will begin on September 23 at the Eastlink Centre when they welcome the Saint John Sea Dogs. This Wednesday, season ticket and flex pack holders are invited to kick off the season with a BBQ and player meet and greet. The event starts at 6pm at the Eastlink Centre Trade Centre.