Following the Bridgeport Islanders Wednesday night contest, forwards Cole Bardreau and Hudson Fasching were recalled and were on the ice at New York Islanders Thursday practice.
After the skate, NYI Hockey Now caught up with Cole Bardreau to discuss the call-up as well as discuss some of his Bridgeport Islanders teammates in Aatu Räty and Wiliam Dufour, along with prospect Simon Holmstrom, who has played the last three games for New York.
The 29-year-old forward played 10 NHL games with New York during the 2019-20 season, and he’s happy to be back up.
“It’s obviously pretty exciting,” Bardreau said. “As you get older, you think that maybe the windows closed, you’re not gonna get to see the NHL again.”
“So this time around, I’m kind of just trying to take it day by day, really stay in the moment and just enjoy it.”
Bardreau has five goals and four assists in 19 games with Bridgeport this season, playing a fourth-line role for head coach Brent Thompson.
The Cornell graduate has one NHL goal under his belt, which came in career game no. seven. It’s a goal that he and the New York Islanders faithful would never forget as he scored on a penalty shot, through the wickets of then-Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson.
Cole Bardreau scores his first NHL goal on a penalty shot. What a moment. pic.twitter.com/lhpz4gJSD2
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) November 6, 2019
“I think about [that goal] often because everyone razzes me for how bad of a shot it was,” Bardreau said. “It’s definitely a moment I’ll always remember and super fortunate to have, but like I said, this time around kinda was just so excited looking into the future, my first time up, that I really just want to try to stay in the moment and enjoy this.”
“You never know what’s gonna be the last.”
Bardreau on Räty
The 20-year-old Aatu Räty has four goals and four assists in 18 games with the Bridgeport Islanders this season. He was held out of Bridgeport’s Wednesday night’s 4-3 victory over the Providence Bruins.
The 2020 second-round pick (52nd) came over to North America last season after he finished up his fourth professional season in Finland. After going pointless in Bridgeport’s two remaining regular season games, he notched one goal and three assists in six Calder Cup playoff games.
“He definitely has all the tools,” Bardreau said. “And I would say what really separates him is his work ethic. You don’t really see guys drafted that high or [with] that skill… I don’t want to say skill guys, but guys drafted that high have that compete and that kind of dedication.”
“That’s something that definitely stands out to me he’s always moving his feet, always working. He’s never floating on the ice and then off the ice still he’s always working and trying to get better. And I think that’s really what carries guys to the next level, and what gets them through some rough patches. So, I think he’s going to be a good player up her one day.”
Bardreau on Dufour
The 152nd pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, William Dufour, is in his first season in the American Hockey League. He had a fantastic final season in the QMJHL with the St. John Sea Dogs, as he led the league with 56 goals. He won QMJHL Player of the Year, won the Memorial Cup, was named MVP, and then went on to win gold for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships.
In 18 games with Bridgeport, Dufour has seven goals and five assists.
“I always mess with him that he had the hardest shot in the QMJHL,” Bardreau said. “But no, he definitely, when he gets it off, it’s super hard. And I was saying earlier that I’ve actually been playing with him on the fourth line. I know he’s not used to kind of play in that type of role, and coming from the QMJHL where he put up a treasure chest full of points, but man, he’s fitting in nicely there.”
“I mean, I really think that if you can kind of learn to play that simple game too, that’s going to get him up here even faster.”
Bardreau on Holmstrom
Simon Holmstrom, the 23rd overall pick in 2019, has played the last four games for the New York Islanders with an assist and a few steals. His board play and active stick have been the biggest standout.
“This guy could be a really good player up here, Bardreau said. “And I think it’s just kind of getting him games, getting him confidence. And I think the more he’s up here, the more he plays, he’s just going to take off.”
Mindset on Bridgeport
The Bridgeport Islanders are currently third in the Atlantic Division, with a 12-3-4-0 record. Bardreau shared that this group has a different vibe than Bridgeport teams he’s been on in the past.
“This group, we got a lot of skill. I think in the past, we haven’t had a lot of skill, but we got a good fusion of young talent that I think is going a long way,” Bardreau said. Obviously, you can rattle off the prospects there, but I think especially at that level when you can mix in some solid, solid veterans and then obviously some scoring from some young guys, that’s when you really have success. And then on the back end, it’s obviously nice to have Skarek and Schneider there, so I think everything’s just kind of coming together nice right now.”