The Guardian (Charlottetown)



Here’s a look at Prince Edward Island hockey players and Charlottet­own Islanders’ graduates who are with NHL teams as the games that count begin today.

Play-in series

• Stratford forward Zack MacEwen is with the Vancouver Canucks. They play the Minnesota Wild in a best-of-five play-in series. Game 1 is Sunday at 11:30 p.m. Atlantic.

• Suffolk forward Ross Johnston and Summerside defenceman Noah Dobson are members of the New York Islanders. They play the Florida Panthers in a best-of-five play-in series beginning today at 5 p.m. Atlantic.

• Former Charlottet­own Islanders’ captain Pierre-Olivier (P.O.) Joseph made the Pittsburgh Penguins’ roster. Joseph, who turned 21 on July 1, was traded from Arizona to Pittsburgh as part of the return for Phil Kessel. Joseph, a Chambly, Que., native, began his profession­al career this season by playing 52 games for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Pittsburgh plays the Montreal Canadiens in a best-of-five play-in series beginning today at 9 p.m. Atlantic.

Seeding round

The top four teams in each conference will play the other three teams to determine seedings for the playoffs.

Former Charlottet­own Islanders’ defenceman Ryan Graves (Colorado), forward Sammy Blais (St. Louis) and forward Daniel Sprong (Washington) plus former P.E.I. Rocket goalie Maxime Lagace (Boston) are all in that situation.

Graves, a 25-year-old Yarmouth, N.S., native who was on the Island during the pandemic, led the NHL in plus/minus at plus-40. This is the defenceman’s first full-time season in the NHL.

Blais won the Stanley Cup a year ago with the Blues while Sprong was traded from Anaheim to Washington at the trade deadline in February. Lagace played 33 games in the AHL this year with Providence.

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