Islanders’ Samuel Bolduc hoping to boost power play upon call-up

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Samuel Bolduc Islanders
Samuel Bolduc (Photo courtesy of the New York Islanders)

EAST MEADOW — On the same day he was officially called up from the AHL by the New York Islanders, defenseman Samuel Bolduc began his second NHL stint this season by quarterbacking the team’s second power-play unit in practice on Monday afternoon.

“They tell me to shoot so I’m going to shoot as much as I can,” Bolduc said “Just keep it simple. If a guy’s open, try to give him the pass and move the puck around as fast as we can, and when you see a lane open, just take it.”

The 6-foo-4, 22-year-old defenseman dressed in six games for the then-shorthanded Islanders earlier this season from Jan. 25 to Feb. 9, recording one goal with a +2 rating while seeing some time on that second power-play unit.

Upon the full return of Adam Pelech, Bolduc was deemed expendable enough with Sebastian Aho and Parker Wotherspoon in the fold for that No. 6 spot on the blue line, resulting in him being sent back down to Bridgeport.

“They told me that they were pretty happy with how I was playing here and just keep going,” Bolduc said. “Just keep doing what I’ve been doing since the beginning of the year… It gives you a little bit of confidence even when you go back but you can’t go on your own after that.

“You have to do the same thing that you were doing when they called you up the first time. I think that’s the key to being called up again.”

With Aho day-to-day due to injury, Bolduc is getting another chance in hopes of sparking a power-play unit that has gone just 4-for-33 (12.1%) since Mathew Barzal went down injured.

“He’s an offensive guy who moves the puck,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “I liked what I saw from him on the power-play with the second unit up top so that’s the thought process there.

“He’s a big guy who, when he uses his size, is pretty steady but I really like him on the power-play and getting pucks through.”

Down in the AHL, Bolduc has led all Bridgeport defensemen with 10 goals and 35 points this season where he could potentially help open things up for another young blueliner in Noah Dobson, who ranks fourth on the Islanders with 40 points this season.

The two were paired together during practice on Thursday.

“I played him a lot in juniors,” Bolduc said. “So now it’s going to be fun to play with him.”

For more on the Islanders, visit AMNY.com