From the Isles press release, the roster is as follows:
Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Jay Pandolfo, PA Parenteau, Marty Reasoner, Brian Rolston, Ryan Strome and John Tavares
Mark Eaton, Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, Steve Staios and Mark Streit
Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov
Jeremy Colliton, Trevor Gillies, Mark Katic, Nino Niederreiter and Rhett Rakhshani are all listed on the team’s injured reserve list.
The biggest surprise on the roster is the inclusion of Strome. Strome was just drafted 5th overall this past summer, and is still very small. There's a lot of maturation that has to be done here, and the Islanders know this. I wouldn't expect to see Strome here for very long. In fact, it's been speculated that his inclusion is due to Niederreiter being injured for the next week or so. I would say that's a good bet. Niederreiter had a pretty good camp. Strome showed some nice flashes, but the negatives outweighed the positives at this point in time. Nothing to lose by giving him at most his nine game try-out though, and have him learn a thing or two and get him pumped to bring himself to the next level next season and beyond.
As expected, the Isles go into the season with three goalies. Newsday's Art Staple thinks that DiPietro and Nabokov will be the two active ones on opening night, a statement which has caused some concern among the fan base.
I understand where they are coming from with it, but disagree. While I like what Montoya did last season, and in the preseason, I'm not going to let a 25 game stretch cloud my thinking here. There are still questions as to whether or not he can keep that play up. Also, as I wrote numerous times in this space Montoya didn't look as strong to me as I would have liked in the preseason. There are still some catching problems with the glove. It's nothing major, but to say he was far and away the best in camp is not correct in my eyes.
I know DiPietro and his contract can be a very contentious point, but it's there. If he's healthy and on the team, then he'll be given a shot. It's always been his spot to lose when he was healthy. Now that it appears that he is, why wouldn't they give him the starts at the beginning of the year? He made out well in his preseason games, made some solid saves and had good side to side movement. There were no odd moments of stretching during stoppages.
At any rate, the Isles will rotate all three somehow to make sure all get playing time, until one of Montoya or Nabokov can be traded for a decent piece. There will be little room for error among the three of them, which is good. If someone isn't performing well, then they should be in the press box.
Other notes: Jurcina still has that tweaked groin, but was not placed on IR. He is still a possibility for Saturday night it seems. Reasoner (knee) and Rolston (groin) also appear to be doing well. If they can't go, then Strome can easily fill in for either of them - especially Reasoner, given that he and Strome are natural centers.
We've now reached the home stretch ladies and gentlemen. Islanders hockey is right around the corner.