UNIONDALE, NY - Islanders and Sound Tigers prospects took the ice on Tuesday morning for Day 2 of Islanders Rookie Camp here on Long Island in preparation for two Rookie Games against the Boston Bruins at the TD Bank Garden on Wednesday and Thursday. The Islanders and Sound Tigers coaching staffs worked hand in hand again today, with Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon dictating the action.
As Sound Tigers Head Coach Jack Capuano told Sound Tigers TV yesterday, much of the focus from Day 1 was on teaching the young players the systems that he and Gordon use. The focus seemed to stay there today during another fairly long practice which neared two hours in length, and perhaps went a step further with the Rookies' first game just a day away. The second half of practice included work on breakouts through the neutral zone, as well as positioning on the penalty kill and power play.
One of the players who Scott Gordon spent some extra time with during practice was center David Ullstrom. The 6'3", 198 pound Swede was an Islanders fourth round (102nd overall) draft pick in 2008, and has spent the first two days of Rookie Camp on the top line with Isles 2010 fifth overall pick Nino Niederreiter and 2006 fourth round (100th overall) draft pick Rhett Rakhshani.
"We worked pretty hard out there today, and there were small things to correct and a lot of things to learn in these new systems," Ullstrom said. "It was definitely a good day and we learned alot."
Ullstrom has attended Islanders Mini Camps before, but this is his first Rookie Camp on Long Island. He recognizes that these first couple of practices have had a different atmosphere from
the mini camps that he's attended, and values the specific attention that the coaching staff pays to each player.
"I think it's a very good thing. It's very helpful when (Scott Gordon) speaks to me one-on-one because I don't completely get some of the drills, but it's alot easier when he explains them to me one-on-one."
The Jonkoping, Swe. native spent the last three seasons playing for his hometown team, HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish Elite League. After the first couple of days of practice, and long summer months, Ullstrom is ready to drop the puck and see some live action.
"Obviously, the game is the best part of camp. I'm just really excited for these rookie games to get started"
Click here for David Ullstrom's full interview with Sound Tigers TV.
Nino Niederreiter - David Ullstrom - Rhett Rakhshani
Justin DiBenedetto - Casey Cizikas - Robin Figren
Alex O'Neil - Justin Taylor - Steve Tarasuk
Kirill Kabanov - Tony Romano