With Bruins training camp nearing full swing, fans have been looking forward to seeing how rookie players like Tyler Seguin and Joe Colborne perform alongside the big boys. But who will these young studs be playing against in their preseason games against the New York Islanders on Sept. 15 and 16?
Here is a list of four Islanders players to watch.
1. Nino Niederreiter
The Islanders’ first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2010 NHL draft is considered New York’s top prospect this year. The 17-year-old Swiss forward spent last season with the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks. There, he notched 36 goals and 24 assists in 65 games. He also was a member of Switzerland’s world junior hockey team, and he scored both the tying and winning goal in overtime in a quarterfinal win over Russia.
2. Calvin de Haan
Drafted 12th overall in 2009, Calvin de Haan faces some unfavorable odds in joining the NHL this year. A torn shoulder in January kept de Haan off the Oshawa Generals for the rest of the season, and he was still not healthy enough to participate in the Islanders' prospect camp in July. But the offensive-minded defenseman scored five goals and had 19 assists in the 34 games he was able to play last season, and he has a total of 87 points in 102 OHL games, so expect to see him in the NHL soon.
3. Casey Cizikas
The 19-year-old is another 2009 draftee looking to break into the NHL. Cizikas posted a career high of 25 goals and 37 assists in 68 games last season in the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. He also had 14 points in 16 games in the playoffs, helping the Majors reach the OHL Eastern Conference finals.
4. Kevin Poulin
The 20-year-old 2008 fifth-round pick (126th overall) will be one of two goalies participating in the preseason games. Poulin has been a member of the Victoriaville Tigres, of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, since 2006. Last season, Poulin posted a .916 save percentage, his best yet. He earned 35 wins in 54 games, and his impressive season earned him an entry-level contract with the Isles.
With 24 players already on the Islanders' roster, it's unlikely that any of these players will join the NHL this season. But these preseason games will give many fans their first chance to see players who could be playing in the TD Garden and Nassau Coliseum someday soon.