SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Gothenburg sits just inside the coastline of Sweden, facing west toward Denmark. From his hometown, where he has played his pro hockey as a youngster, that's the direction Johan Sundstrom is looking.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Sundstrom said this week at the Islanders' development camp, and though he won't turn 20 until training camp in September, he said he wants to be a leader.
"I'm trying something new," he said. "I've done my thing in Sweden for two or three years, same locker room, same guys. It's new, a big difference."
Countryman David Ullstrom, a Sound Tiger for most of the past two seasons, leaned into the interview.
"He'll dominate," Ullstrom said with a smile.
The Islanders wouldn't mind that at all.
Their second-round draft pick last year, Sundstrom has size (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) and skill. He has played 91 games in Sweden's top league for his hometown Frolunda team.
He helped Sweden to the World Junior Championship in January.
"I feel I'm an all-around forward," said Sundstrom, who can play all three forward positions.
"I'm a pretty good skater, probably a good passer."
It's an all-around skill set that should add a lot to a young Bridgeport core that could include forwards like Brock Nelson, Kirill Kabanov, Nino Niederreiter, Mike Halmo and John Persson. The prospects were all assembled at IceWorks this week for the Islanders' minicamp.
They worked with Islanders coaches and staffers like former NHL defenseman Eric Cairns, one of the Islanders' key men in player development, who Sundstrom said has given him advice on how to make the transition to North America.
"We're doing a lot of stuff outside, workouts ... to bring on the ice," Sundstrom said. "I think it's a really good idea."
Now that camp is over, he'll go home, train there in his hometown with several NHLers and get ready for training camp.
DEALING TIME: Players without contracts become free agents at noon Sunday. Seven players from last year's Bridgeport team are restricted free agents (though three have signed to play in Europe and one played there last year).
The Sound Tigers' unrestricted free agents include captain Jeremy Colliton and veteran Trevor Frischmon.
GINGERA A PRO: Matt Gingera, Sacred Heart's leading scorer last year, has signed with the Tulsa Oilers (Central Hockey League). Gingera had an amateur tryout with the now-defunct Chicago Express (ECHL) in the spring. Former Pioneers teammate Anthony Yelovich signed in early June to play in Croatia.
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