CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – There’s no need to worry Charlottetown Islanders hockey fans.
The team released its training camp roster Friday, but captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph was not on it.
Head coach and general manager Jim Hulton said the Arizona Coyotes first-round draft pick has been in Phoenix most of the summer and recently returned home following the Sport Chek World Junior Showcase in British Columbia.
“He hasn't had a lot of rest,” Hulton said of the 19-year-old defeceman. “After the world junior camp, I just thought it was in his best” to remain home.
Had Joseph come to Charlottetown, he would have only been in town a short time before leaving for the Coyotes camp. And the Isles will break for about five days around Labour Day.
The camp will take place Aug. 17-26 at the APM Centre in Cornwall. It includes daily practices, two intrasquad games and four exhibition games.
The training camp roster has 26 forwards, 16 defenceman and six goalies. It includes 15 returnees like veterans Keith Getson and Matthew Welsh as well as youngsters Brett Budgell and Nikita Alexandrov preparing for their sophomore seasons.
“There are a few locks, but our job is to make sure we ice the best team,” Hulton said. “If that means new guys are ahead of returnees then at the end of the day it makes us a better team.”
He added there may not be as many open spots as a year ago, but there are spots available and they want the players to come in and make the staff’s decision difficult during a competitive camp.
There are four players fighting for three overage spots. They are defenceman Hunter Drew and forwards Sam King, Daniel Hardie and Getson. Blue-liner Taylor Egan has decided to play junior A in Ottawa.
All the players selected from this year’s midget draft are coming as is American goalie Tommy Aitken. The roster includes some local invitees like Cam Roberts from the D. Alex MacDonald Ford Summerside Western Capitals and Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride midget Nick Reeves.