Samuel Bolduc got a taste of NHL action last year.
Now he is trying to ensure it is something he can build on.
There are few real battles for everyday lineup spots going on in training camp for the Islanders, but Bolduc is embroiled in one of them as he tries to earn the final spot on the blue line over Sebastian Aho.
Friday would have been Bolduc’s second chance to show himself in a preseason game, but inclement weather postponed the game until Saturday.
Even that frustration, though, is a far cry from where Bolduc was a year ago — still in the auxiliary locker room during training camp and an afterthought when the same spot on the defense was up for grabs.
“It feels good to be in this locker room for sure,” Bolduc told The Post earlier this week. “Try and fight for a spot and it doesn’t matter which locker room I am [in]. I still gotta fight for it.”
The 22-year-old made his NHL debut last season, acquitting himself well enough over 17 games when the Islanders had injuries elsewhere to be a consideration for opening night now, when the blue line is healthy.
Like any young defenseman, though, Bolduc needs to prove that he is above the sort of careless errors that so often land such players in the press box as healthy scratches.
Asked what was most important for him to prove in camp, Bolduc replied, “That I can do a job every day, every game.
“[Be] solid defensively, use my ability and move the puck quick, bring the puck to the net, my shot. I have to show everything I can do.”
Ironically, that is — in essence — what Aho proved he could do to win the job last year, overcoming a reputation for turnovers in the defensive zone to be a reliable piece on the back end.
The reputable 2022-23 season put together by Aho, who averaged 16:46 time on ice and finished with 23 points, represents as big an obstacle as any for Bolduc, albeit one beyond his control.
“I just focus on myself and do what I have to do,” Bolduc said. “We’ll see [what happens] after.”
The Islanders cut their training camp roster by 21 on Friday morning, with 19 of the players in question being assigned to AHL Bridgeport’s training camp.
Isaiah George and Justin Gill were returned to their junior teams in London, Ontario and Baie-Comeau, Quebec respectively.
Kyle Palmieri (undisclosed) did not skate Friday and remains day to day.
Friday’s match, rescheduled for Saturday, was the second Islanders preseason game in three years that was not played as scheduled.
Two years ago, a game against the Devils was canceled because of a power outage at the Prudential Center.
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