On Tuesday night, the New York Islanders went into TD Garden and found a way to snag a point against the Boston Bruins, the best team in hockey. On hand for the Islanders’ 4-3 shootout loss were 13 NHL scouts.
A source on the scene in Boston told NYI Hockey Now that most of the scouts were there to watch the Islanders.
The following teams were in attendance: Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and New York Islanders.
As mentioned on Wednesday morning, the New York Islanders have inquired about Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat.
The Islanders do have a few players that would draw interest from NHL clubs, especially young players getting a chance to show off their skills with players out with injuries.
Robin Salo, a 24-year-old offensive defenseman, has played in seven games this season with two goals. After starting the season as the Islanders’ sith defenseman, he lost his job to 26-year-old Sebastian Aho after four games and did not play in an NHL game for over seven weeks.
Salo’s issue was consistency, especially in his own zone.
But with the upper-body injury to the Islanders’ strongest defenseman Adam Pelech, which he sustained on Dec. 6 (day-to-day), Salo has been playing alongside Ryan Pulock for the last three contests.
He has yet to solidify himself as an NHL regular, but given his offensive style and ability to play both sides, he could be a player that goes back the other way in a trade package.
In seven games, Salo has two goals.
Another Islanders prospect that’s been getting a good look and has impressed is 21-year-old Simon Holmstrom.
Since Kyle Palmieri went down with an upper-body injury on Nov. 21, Holmstrom has been in the lineup.
In his first NHL stint, 10 games so far and counting, Holmstrom has recorded just one point, playing predominantly on the Islanders third line alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Zach Parise.
Head coach Lane Lambert uses that line against the opposition’s best, and Holmstrom’s defensive play has stood out over his time in the NHL.
He has an active stick and understands how to use his six-two, 205-pound frame to win board battles and protect the puck. He seems to always be in the correct positions, and his long reach allows him to save the puck in all three zones.
Holmstrom has yet to break through offensively, but in a conversation with NYI Hockey Now, he shared that he believes he can be an offensive player in this league.
Lambert also views him as a player who can contribute offensively but says his strength is his two-way game.
At 21, and just 10 games into an NHL career, the fact that he has earned the trust of Lambert speaks volumes, and that may be of value to some NHL hockey clubs.
If the New York Islanders are going to make any trades this season for weapons, prospects will likely need to go back the other way.
While the Islanders have had to call up players because of injuries, Lambert has been able to show his prospects off.
One other thing to bring to the forefront is that former Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who currently works for the Los Angeles Kings as a senior advisor to general manager Rob Blake, was in attendance.
While with Montreal, he showed interest in Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier.
The Kings are up against the cap and are not in need of a forward at this time, but something to keep an eye on as we inch closer to the trade deadline.
Beauvillier did not play Tuesday, as he missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. He took part in morning skate and was considered a game-time decision.
On the season, the Montreal native has five goals and six assists in 27 games.