EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — New York Islanders winger Hudson Fasching has always had to claw and scrape his way toward earning playing time in the NHL. And even when he did get across seven NHL seasons, it was incredibly sporadic.
From 2015-2022 with the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes, the 28-year-old forward appeared in just 38 career games, recording one goal and two assists. After catching on with the Islanders last season, he ran away with the chance at playing time thanks to injuries, posting 10 goals and nine assists as an invaluable bottom-six forward.
It earned him a two-year contract with New York and for the first time in his career, he begins preseason play with a spot secure on an NHL roster rather than a young hopeful trying to make it.
“It is weird to be on the other end of the spectrum,” Fasching began. “Especially coming here from Arizona where I felt like I was the older guy for a while because the organization is so young… I try not to treat it any differently. I just think about coming in here and earn playing time for the upcoming season. That’s always been my mindset. It’s served me well in the past and I’ve just stuck with it.”
But even as he keeps that same philosophy intact, there is some solace in knowing that his chances of making an opening-night NHL roster are exponentially better than in years past.
“Confidence is a funny thing in sports,” Fasching said. “It’s something you’re always supposed to have but it’s hard to have an artificially create. So it’s nice to have some momentum and some confidence artificially there for me. It is nice, but I’m trying to balance that out with not being too confident or comfortable. That’s why I like to keep the same mindset moving forward.”