Parker Wotherspoon has gotten a taste of the Big Apple this week.
The Tri-City Americans defenseman was called up by the New York Islanders after the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL finished their playoff run April 28.
The Islanders signed the native of Surrey, British Columbia, to a three-year, entry-level contract Monday, and he has been able to work out and watch the team’s playoff games.
“It’s been fun,” Wotherspoon said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve been working out and skating a lot. It’s been tough, but it’s worth it.”
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Wotherspoon, 18, was a fourth-round pick of the Islanders (112nd overall) in the 2015 NHL draft. He got called up to Bridgeport after the Americans finished their season. He played eight games with the Tigers, recording two assists.
“After our season was over, we had exit interviews,” Wotherspoon said. “They brought a few of us in and told we were being called up. It’s nice to see the pro game and how they go about their business.”
Wotherspoon and the other call-ups don’t get to skate in the main practice, but they’ve been able to see what the next level is all about.
“We saw Tuesday’s overtime game (against Tampa Bay),” Wotherspoon said. “You get to see the level and the fast pace of the game firsthand. It’s fun to watch playoff hockey.”
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Wotherspoon said signing his contract took a big weight off his shoulders.
“It’s been in the back of my mind,” he said. “It’s nice to have a clean mind going into next season.”
While the details of his contract were not made public, Wotherspoon said he was happy with the deal the Islanders offered.
“It was a fair deal,” he said. “They did a really good job working with my agent. It’s nice to get it done.”
Wotherspoon isn’t sure how long his New York stay will be, but he hopes it will last until the Islanders’ playoff run is over.
“I’m just going day by day,” Wotherspoon said. “Doing what I’m told.”
The 6-foot-1, 171-pound Wotherspoon has played three seasons with the Americans, serving as an alternate captain last season.
He was Tri-City’s third-leading scorer last season, with 11 goals (six on the power play) and 45 assists for a career-high 56 points in 71 games.
Wotherspoon also won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2015 Under-18 World Junior Championships and a silver medal with Canada-Pacific at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.