Blogger's note: This piece was scheduled to be published shortly after the Trivino suspension news broke. All questions were asked many days prior.
For the Islanders, the 2008 NHL Entry Draft was marked with two memorable trade-downs in the first round. Slotted to pick 5th, GM Garth Snow traded the number-5 pick to Toronto for the number-7 pick and other third- and second-round considerations in that and the following year's draft. Then, the Islanders traded that number-7 pick to Nashville in return for the number-9 pick (Josh Bailey) and an early second-round choice (Aaron Ness).
All that, and of course, a great deal of fan drama and pandemonium regarding the passing over of potential draftees like Luke Schenn, Nikita Filatov, and Colin Wilson. But for the Islanders, dropping down and choosing Josh Bailey at 9th was just the beginning of a memorable draft.
By the second round, partly thanks to the first round's dramatics, the Islanders were in possession of the number-36 and the number-40 picks. At 40, Snow selected the much-anticipated but struggling Aaron Ness, who is a likely candidate for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers next season.
Receiving perhaps less recent press, but just as high expectations, is the two-way center from Boston University selected at 36th: Corey Trivino.
This on-again, off-again blogger had the opportunity to sit down with Trivino recently, and explored what it takes for a player to leave his college team and land a spot in the pros.
Let's get straight to the hockey, shall we? Have you been watching the NHL playoff race at all?
Oh of course. The team shares one of those Centre Ice accounts online, and we usually try to watch together. We were all watching when Nick Bonino scored his first for Anaheim. It was exciting.
Do you follow one team particularly well, or is it more broad than that?
Well, I'd say most of us aren't interested in just "one team." As a hockey fan, you gotta keep up with every team.
Well, how about the Islanders? Are you in touch with the Isles throughout the year?
Well yeah, "Cairnsy" (Eric Cairns) is in town a lot. I know he watches me play. He's often got constructive criticism for me. I'd say we have a lot of verbal talks, but most of the time, it's just [Cairns]. There's a lot you can't do when it comes to this kind of stuff while you're still in college.
Lots of NCAA rules, right?
Yeah. Coach [Jack Parker] once told us this story about a baseball player... his agent wanted him to sign and turn pro, but the guy wanted another year in college. The next season, the NCAA kicked him out for talking to his agent prematurely.
It sounds like you're damned if you do in this situation.
It's a tough call to make. Obviously there's a line you can't cross — you can't step in and then not go through with it. You gotta be careful.
Well how does it work, then, if you want to turn pro? Like what Nick Bonino just did with Anahiem.
And shortly after the interview, teammates Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk (both Colorado), as well.Really, at the end of the year, you'll feel it. Did you dominate? Were you a go-to guy? Can you step into an AHL/NHL team right now? You can't have any "ifs" about that. You definitely don't want to rush into things and you can't turn back.
Well how about you? Do you foresee yourself leaving BU before your 4 years are up?
I couldn't tell ya. I haven't really accomplished what I wanted in college hockey in terms of being as effective as I could be yet. I haven't played to my potential here. In my position, I want to gain some weight. The injury messed up a few things in my leg, so I'm gonna spend more time working on that.
In mid-February, Corey suffered a broken leg in a game against Maine.Right, about the leg, it's looking great. (He is no longer using a cast/brace/crutches/anything)
It was supposed to be in a cast for 6 weeks, but it was cut short. In just 4 weeks I got into the walking boot. (Laughs) I just wanted to get my shoe back on.
So you're almost back to 100%?
We've been doing rehab every day. It kinda sucks that there's no ice right now [due to local arena renovations/end of season], so it's hard to tell. Next season I'll be ready for sure. We just gotta figure out a way to get some ice over the summer.
BU's a very competitive school in academic terms alone. Perhaps more so for ice hockey. What about your decision to come to here specifically? Was the decision just about hockey?
Well, yeah. The reason I came here is that they develop hockey players, and obviously have some great NHL alumni.
Well how about school in general? What are you studying?
I'm doing business administration. Truthfully, it really is a second priority during the season. Actually, 95% of the time. You have to get your school work done in order to play hockey. Now that the season's over, it's a different kind of busy.
Let's get back to the Islanders. You were at prospect camp last summer, right? Did you make any friends there / keep in touch with other Isles' prospects in Hockey East?
Well they're all good guys. Blake Kessel (UNH), sometimes I see him when they come to town. Since I'm Canadian, I don't know that many people from high school / US junior teams — most college players have different roots than I have. On the Islanders, well yeah, I know Josh Bailey pretty well.
Yeah, a while back he actually came up to Boston and we hung out a bit. He played in the OHL, and I met him through some friends of mine on his team. We connected at training camp.
That's an awesome connection. How much do you know / are aware about the Islanders current situation? I mean, let's face it... they've sucked so much for so long. What do you think about that, as a prospect?
(Laughs) I know they have a lot of good young talent that's gonna start to come into effect in the next few seasons. It'll probably be good for the Islanders soon.
How about their arena situation? Have you heard about the project?Well, we've heard about the Lighthouse — there's no word on it yet, right?
Well, the project has stalled big-time. The old arena, well, it's crumbling. Crowds are on and off, and until the team gets a new arena deal, things will be up in the air. How does that affect a player, or how you feel about the Isles?It's really not a big deal. As long as you have a good fanbase, it doesn't matter where you're physically playing. It seems like everyone's waiting for something to happen with that. Hopefully, that will come soon.
If you could say one thing directly to Isles Nation, what would it be?I want to be there — that's for sure. Obviously, it's your goal as a kid growing up in Canada. Fortunately, I was drafted to a great organization. I want to be there there and to continue to improve.