New York Islanders prospect Robin Salo has the opportunity to earn a starting gig for the first time in his NHL career. The 23-year-old forward is fresh off his first season on North American ice, splitting time at the NHL and AHL level.
With Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene out of the picture, there is an opening on the left side alongside Scott Mayfield. The fact that Robin Salo has the ability to play both the left side and the right side (left shot) makes him a versatile option for New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, once the New York Islanders returned home from their 13-game road trip, Robin Salo was one of the initial call-ups who skated in the first-ever game at UBS Arena on Nov. 20 against the Calgary Flames.
What a day to make your NHL debut, eh?
Over the course of the regular season, Robin Salo played 21 games with the New York Islanders with one goal and four assists. He played another 40 games down in Bridgeport where he recorded four goals and 16 assists, before a two-point effort (1 goal, 1 assist) in six Calder Cup postseason games.
“Yeah. I mean, it’s new stuff for me, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of it now,” Salo said. “Like, played one season, so I feel more confident going into the next one. You know, rink size, everything.”
Robin Salo came into camp at 6’2, 190 lbs, a few pounds lighter than he was a year ago.
I asked him what his main focus was this offseason as he prepared mentally and physically for year two.
“Strength, I’d say. Just getting more muscle, getting ready for the game over here [North America],” Salo said. “I gotta get used to it, you know. It’s more physical, faster, so just be more explosive.”
Before coming to North America in 2021, Robin Salo spent two seasons with Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League where he notched seven goals and 29 assists in 63 games spanning over those two seasons.
Robin Salo impressed in his stint at the NHL level, showcasing his skating, his hockey IQ, and quickly earned the trust of Barry Trotz to get some minutes on the power play.
With Lane Lambert at the helm, Robin Salo will need to earn his trust and show that he belongs not just at the NHL level, but deserves to be an everyday player for the organization.