It’s been a big week for former Sound Tigers currently playing with the Islanders. Both Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan scored their first career NHL goals, while Anders Nilsson was recalled earlier this week. With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at recent Sound Tigers who are now making an impact at the NHL level.
MATT DONOVAN – DEFENSEMAN
With 112 points at the AHL level, Matt Donovan is the highest scoring defenseman in the history of the team. After six games with the team at the end of 2011-12, he played two full seasons on the blue line for the Sound Tigers before this season. After 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 2011-12, he eclipsed that total last season with 48 points (14 goals, 34 assists). The Islanders felt he had gotten enough seasoning at the AHL-level and including him on their roster when the team broke camp. He was reassigned to the Sound Tigers in late November, but after scoring 14 points in 17 games, he is back on Long Island.
RYAN STROME – CENTER
Ryan Strome played just 23 games for the Sound Tigers this season, but made a lasting impression on those who had the opportunity to watch him play. He notched 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in that time and was on a nine-game point-scoring streak at the time he was recalled by the Islanders. In those nine games, he recorded 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). Earlier this week, Strome scored his first career NHL goal. Thursday afternoon, he was named to the AHL All-Star Team, which will face Farjestad BK in St. John’s.
CALVIN de HAAN – DEFENSEMAN
Calvin de Haan was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round (12th overall) in 2009 and played parts of the last three seasons with the Sound Tigers. Due to a shoulder injury, he played just three games for the Sound Tigers last season, but rebounded well enough in 2013-14 to earn the call-up to the Islanders in late November. de Haan was strong on both sides of the puck for the Sound Tigers and has since played 19 games for the Islanders, scoring three points (one goal, two assists).
ANDERS NILSSON – GOALTENDER
Anders Nilsson played in four games for the Islanders back in 2011-12 before 21 games with the Sound Tigers last season. Due to injuries to Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabakov, the 6’5 Swede has been recalled on two separate occasions. The most recent stint with the Islanders began earlier this week after Nabakov went down in Monday’s game and was placed on IR. In five games with the Islanders this season, Nilsson has an 0-2-2 record, a 3.63 GAA and an .873 save percentage.
BROCK NELSON – CENTER
Coming out of the University of North Dakota, Brock Nelson set a Sound Tigers rookie scoring record last season with 52 points (25 goals, 27 assists). He made the Islanders roster out of training camp, and though he did play one game with the Sound Tigers this season, it proved to be just a matter of getting him more time on the ice. Following that game against the Binghamton Senators, in which Nelson had one assist, he was immediately recalled by the Islanders. He has played on both the power play and penalty kill and currently has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 35 games with the Islanders this season.
CASEY CIZIKAS – CENTER
Casey Cizikas came out of the Ontario Hockey League in 2011-12 and split two seasons between the Sound Tigers and the Islanders. He was an AHL All-Star in his rookie season before skating in 15 games for the Islanders. He came back to the Sound Tigers at the beginning of last season, but was back on Long Island following the work stoppage. He had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 45 games for the Islanders last season. Now in his first full season with the Islanders, he appears to be a fixture as an energy-line forward at the NHL-level. In 43 games, the Toronto native has 11 points (five goals, six assists).
COLIN McDONALD – RIGHT WING
An AHL veteran before joining the Islanders organization, Colin McDonald was named captain of the Sound Tigers to start the 2012-13 season. He played 35 games for the Sound Tigers last season, averaging just under a point-per-game with 27 points (six goals, 21 assists). He had played in seven NHL games before last season—two with the Edmonton Oilers, five with the Pittsburgh Pengiuns—but was called up following the work stoppage and finished the season with the Islanders. He played 45 games with the Islanders last season and is once again on Long Island for the 2013-14 season.