David Toews Leaves NCAA for WHL

Islanders prospect David Toews, the younger brother of Jonathan Toews – has left the NCAA (University of North Dakota) and joined the Wheat Kings of the WHL for the upcoming season marking the start of his professional hockey career.

Per the Calgary Sun:

Right-winger David Toews has decided to leave the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux after two seasons to join the Wheaties for his 20-year-old season. The Wheat Kings drafted Toews in the sixth round of the 2005 bantam draft.

Toews, who had nine goals and 26 points in 51 games at UND, was a third-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2008 NHL draft.

In Other News

In other off season player news, several former Islanders have signed on with other clubs as free agents.

Defenseman Freddy Meyer has signed with the Atlanta Thrashers next season in a two-way deal for $500,000.

Meyer spent the last three seasons with the Islanders. He had four goals and 11 assists in a career-high 64 games in 2009-10 and 19 goals, 52 assists and 147 penalty minutes in 266 career NHL games.

Meyer has been a solid player for the Islanders over the last three seasons, although he was lost on waivers for a brief period to the Phoenix Coyotes – he was reclaimed shortly thereafter due to his solid play. He often logged important minutes and earned special teams play, his departure is a due to a vastly improved defensive unit this season with the addition of Eaton, Jurcina and Wisniewski.

Also, Sean Bergenheim was signed to a one year deal by the Tampa Bay Lightning this week. Originally selected 22nd overall by the Islanders, the fan favorite Begenheim had 40 goals and 40 assists over 246 career games with the Islanders.

Bergy, as fans and teammates affectionately called him, just couldn’t put it together at a consistent level. He’s a great skater with offensive ability who plays an exciting energetic
style, he was also great at being a pest – so the Lightning certainly added a nice piece.

But wait, there’s more!

The Islanders also added two players this week – one a former Islander who spent the previous season in the Minnesota Wild’s system.

Andy Hilbert has signed with the Islanders on a one year two-way contract as has forward Rob Hisey.

Per the Islanders release:

Hilbert returns to the Islanders after playing within the Minnesota Wild organization last season. The Howell, MI native skated in four games for the Wild. He spent the majority of the season with Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, totaling 25 points (nine goals and 16 assists) in 33 games. Prior to his stint with the Wild, Hilbert was a member of the Islanders for three seasons, accumulating 27 goals and 44 assists for 71 points in 218 games. Hilbert was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round (37th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Over the course of the four seasons that Hilbert spent in the Bruins organization, he split each season between Boston and their AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.

Hisey played his first season of professional hockey in North America last year in both the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers. A native of Oakville, ON, Hisey skated in 37 games for the Falcons last season, scoring 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. With Tulsa, Hisey tallied 41 points (19 goals and 22 assists) in 24 games. Hisey played the previous four seasons in Finland, Germany, Austria and Sweden.

I like the Hilbert signing in that he was always solid defensively and shorthanded – he will replace Richard Park in all likelihood if and when he gets regular playing time with the the Islanders.

Rob Hisey I don’t know much about at this point, but from what I have heard he has some offensive potential and possesses Rob Schremp like hands around the net. Garth Snow likely sees this as another player worthy of a look and will likely play with the Sound Tigers this season.

I’d just like to take a second to wish Meyer and Bergenheim luck this up coming season and thank them for the job they did during their time here on Long Island. Best of luck gents.

Michael Schuerlein

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