Free agent forward Stephen Gionta is in discussions with the New York Islanders to attend training camp on a professional tryout (PTO), according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
Gionta, 32, has played his entire six-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils but became an unrestricted free agent earlier this summer. In 270 games with the Devils, Gionta has tallied 15 goals and 35 assists and added 93 penalty minutes.
The younger brother of Buffalo Sabres forward Brian Gionta, Stephen followed in the footsteps of his sibling when he played four years at Boston College from 2002 to 2006. After going undrafted, the 5’7″, 175-pound right winger received a tryout with the Devils’ AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats, before making his professional debut in 2005-06.
Gionta spent the bulk of the next six seasons in the AHL, but in the last four seasons, he has skated in 257 games with the Devils, including all 82 games in 2015-16. During the Devils’ run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, Gionta played in 24 playoff games and registered three goals and seven points.
While Gionta has reportedly not yet been offered a PTO by the Islanders, if he receives one and makes the roster out of camp, he may be a serviceable veteran option at forward for the club entering the 2016-17 season.