From preparing for the QMJHL Entry Draft in June to the import draft and more, Islanders Head Coach and General Manager Jim Hulton has been working hard all summer long.
There isn’t much of an off-season if you hold both positions for a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team. Especially one coming off such a successful regular season and playoffs like the Charlottetown Islanders.
As is the case in Junior, the Islanders will lose many key pieces for the 2017/18 season. But Hulton, Assistant GM and Associate Coach Guy Girouard and the rest of the staff are working hard to ice the best lineup possible this October.
“We have been working diligently to build a roster that will continue to make Islanders fans excited and enthused about our on-ice product,” said Hulton. “We are eager to see our latest draft picks, led by Brett Budgell, plus our recent Import selection Nikita Alexandrov, in an Islanders uniform. We think they will add to our core group of returning players to create a team that will build on the success of the 2016/17 season.”
Recently, Hulton held a Free Agent camp in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
“We had the opportunity to watch a number of out of area free agents at the camp and will be inviting 5 to 7 to our main camp in P.E.I. in August.”
Last year, Hunter Drew was spotted at Hulton’s free agent camp.
While he prepares for the upcoming season, Hulton was able to watch P.O. Joseph be chosen by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft a few weeks ago.
Hulton has been Joseph’s only Head Coach in his QMJHL career to thus point. He was excited and not surprised to see PO selected in the first round.
“Arizona was impressed by PO’s hockey sense, his high compete level, his skating plus his maturity and personality.”
PO has already participated in his first NHL development camp (SEE: Catching up with PO Joseph), and now prepares for his training camp.
“PO will attend the Coyotes main camp in September and, as with all participants, will compete for a spot on their roster. We do anticipate having him back in Charlottetown for this season, but that’s never a guarantee.”
Don’t look now but it’s the middle of July.
The QMJHL training camp will be here before you know it and, for Islanders fans, it will be extra exciting to see the future of the organization develop before your eyes!
Written by Darcy Cudmore