Just as the junior signing deadline approached the tight walleted Islanders made a bit of a surprise move by signing two players, Tim Connolly and Mathieu Biron. Connolly topped off a strong training camp with a two point peformance in the Isles last preseason game including his first goal. Tim brings an instant element of excitement to the team that the Isles sorely need after the departure of Ziggy Palffy. Biron was a stalwart on defense throughout the preseason averaging almost 20 minutes a game. Mathieu is even better than the Isles scouting staff had anticipated and in the last week he beat out Branislav Mezei for the last spot on the blueline. Biron has been throwing his weight around, playing solid two way hockey, and using his 6-6 215lbs frame effectively. Mezei will rejoin Barrie in the OHL for another season.
Another high profile demotion was that of outstanding goaltender Roberto Luongo to Lowell. However, this situation may not last for long. Rumors are flying all over that the Isles will get rid of Felix Potvin, their most expensive player, to make room for the up and coming Loungo. Even though Robrto was their best player in the preseason rushing him into the NHL behind the kiddy corps blueline may not be the best idea. Luongo has been a winner at every level and even though he is confident now, he may not be ready for a full year on the island.
Islanders wingers continue to impress on two continents. QMJHL sniper Juraj Kolnik continued his hot start with a hat trick followed by a two points night. His current totals are 5-6-11 in only four games. Meanwhile, Mattias Weinhandl continues to flourish in MoDo as he leades the team with 3 goals and 7 points in 4 games, good for 5th in the Elite League. Also in Sweden, Isles pick Bjorn Melin is off to a hot start with 3 goals and 7 ponts in 4 games, placing him 7th in Swedish juniors in scoring.