The first ice time of the 2019 Charlottetown Islanders Training Camp takes place Friday night at the APM Centre in Cornwall, and the incoming hopefuls looking to crack the roster are more than ready.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m not trying to go in with too high of a head or anything, just trying to keep moving forward and play how I normally play.” said goaltender Jacob Goobie ahead of his first camp.
Goobie is joining 36 other players entering their first Charlottetown Islanders camp, including the player picked with the selection immediately after him in the 2019 QMJHL Draft, Justin Gill.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Gill on arriving in Charlottetown. “I can’t wait to get on the ice. There’s a little bit of nervousness but I’m more excited than nervous. It will be a really fun time with all the new players.”
A number of eyes will be on the backend as well, as this will mark the first time that defensive prospect Oscar Plandowski will pull on the Charlottetown Islanders colours. Plandowski was acquired from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens after the Sags selected the 6’1 defender with the 18th selection of the 2019 QMJHL Draft.
“I’m really excited to get to camp,” said Plandowski. “Obviously a little nervous, but overall I can’t wait to really get started.”
When 16-year old prospects enter the QMJHL, they do so with the understanding that they’ll be playing against men almost five years their senior. Accordingly, each player emphasized the work they put in both on and off the ice to prepare themselves.
“I’ve been in the gym about five days a week,” said Goobie on his off-season regimen. “I’ve also been on the ice a couple times a week, along with the Hockey Canada Under-17 Camp, which was an incredible experience and helped me get ready for camp.”
“I’ve been trying to get stronger and get my body ready for the Q,” said Gill. “I was in the gym five times a week and on the ice three times a week. The game is getting faster every year so I try to always keep on top of it.”
“I’ve been on the ice nearly every day of the week, working with a group of former and current QMJHL players to help me get ready for the pace of play,” said Plandowski on the work he’s put in. “These guys have been helping me get my body ready to play at the Q level.”
That group of players Plandowski worked with included Ottawa Senators prospect Drake Batherson, Summerside native and New York Islanders prospect Noah Dobson, and former Charlottetown Islander and current Colorado Avalanche defender Ryan Graves.
At the end of the day, each player ultimately shares the same goal of becoming a member of the Charlottetown Islanders. They all acknowledged the quality of the competition when asked about what they’re expectations are heading in to camp.
“There are going to be a lot of people trying to fight for positions on this team, so I’m just trying to be who I am, not get too overly excited, and keep on doing what I’ve done my entire playing career so far.” said Goobie.
“It’s going to be a tough camp. Camp is always going to be competitive so you have to make sure your energy level is consistent throughout the week. I’ll have to practice exactly how I play and showcase the style that I play.” said Plandowski.
The 2019 Charlottetown Islanders Training Camp gets underway Friday, August 16th, with the players entering the Gold Cup Parade aboard the floats of some of our sponsors, followed by off-ice fitness testing and the first intra-squad game at the APM Centre starting at 6:00pm. All on-ice activities are open to the public to attend. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram story Friday morning as Jacob Goobie takes you behind the scenes of the Gold Cup Parade!