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Maggio finding his stride in Bridgeport

(Bridgeport, CT) -- The New York Islanders’ fifth-round draft pick in 2022, Matt Maggio (Tecumseh, ON), is building confidence with the Bridgeport Islanders.

By Joe Flionis | Bridgeport Islanders

Hockey was always meant to be part of Matt Maggio’s future. Born right into the sport, the Ontario native takes pride in his roots and where he came from.


“I mean, hockey’s everything,” the Bridgeport Islanders rookie said. “I grew up in that hockey culture, it’s everything I’ve ever known. I think that's kind of how it is in Ontario.”


His father, Rob, was a big influence, helping convey this custom onto his son. A professional strength and conditioning coach, Rob owns a gym that is predicated on training the best athletes, especially hockey players. Even as a child, Matt would always find some way to be involved in the game.


“His gym specialized in hockey training,” Maggio explained. “So growing up, NHL and other pro players were constantly around the facility. I just remember playing mini sticks after their workouts, and they would always come play with me for a bit.”


The New York Islanders’ fifth-round draft pick in 2022 is really beginning to find his stride, opening March with goals in back-to-back games. He has five goals in his last seven games and 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in his last 14, frequently playing alongside fellow Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov.


“I think I’ve just been building confidence and understanding when I can make plays and when I can’t,” Maggio said. “I’m just trying to not focus on the points and just play the right way.”


After recording eight points in his first 30 games of the season and missing small windows of time due to injury, the 21-year-old is now second on the team in goals (12), and tied for sixth in points (20). For most players, adjusting to the AHL level is a big step coming from juniors, something that Maggio was well aware of before joining Bridgeport.


“Everyone says this is the biggest jump in hockey that you're going to make, from junior to pro,” he explained. “The jump from the AHL to the NHL is obviously still a jump, but it’s nothing like this one. I knew that coming in, and the coaches kind of bared with me for a bit.”


“It’s part of the maturation process,” Bridgeport Islanders head coach Rick Kowalsky said. “The size, the pace, the physicality. He’s a good kid and he was wants to learn, and his play away from the puck has gotten better. He’s a great student of the game.”

For the full article, click here.


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