A lot has happened since Jim Hulton and the Charlottetown Islanders loaded up in 2016-2017 for a potential run at the President Cup.
Lessons were learned, moves were made, but the winning culture with a foundation built on unwavering work ethic and determination still remained.
Fast forward three years later and Hulton and Islanders continue to build toward something very special.
The Isles brain trust have made some very difficult, but strategic moves to regain assets and draft picks to build toward the ultimate goal of capturing a championship.
The Islanders continue to impress and outwork their opponents almost on a nightly basis.
Sure there have been some disappointment and some amazing players and people leave the organizations via trades, but through it all Hulton and the organization have showed tremendous transparency, patience and restraint throughout the entire process.
The Islanders have drafted and developed very well over the past several years while also landing key free agents and impactful imports.
Obviously the one constant over that time has been the play and leadership of veteran netminder Matthew Welsh.
Welsh has been nothing short of spectacular throughout his entire career with the Isles.
Anything can happen when you have Welsh patrolling the crease.
That’s another reason why the Islanders have been considered the Vegas Golden Knights of the QMJHL.
What they may not have in top end talent and skill, they sure as hell make up for it in hard work, which is obviously a sign of true grit, character and determination.
So the obvious questions remain.
When are the Islanders planning on going on a championship run?
The window may be closing on winning a championship with Welsh, but they have his clone in Jacob Goobie to lead the way.
Nevertheless, the most intriguing question of all might be what will the Islanders next big trade look like in hopes of landing future assets in order to build for a future championship.
So what player or players would garner the most return?
One would have to look at none other than St Louis Blues Prospect Nitkita Alexandrov.
Obviously this is pure speculation, but Alexandrov would certainly fetch a high return if in fact the Islanders believe their championship window is open for the next two seasons, especially considering Lukas Cormier and the rest of their highly effective young mobile defence corps will be more up to the task.
What team in the QMJHL need or would like to upgrade their import player?
Would the Islanders be willing to move Alexandrov?
Time will tell, but you can rest assure the Charlottetown Islanders are building toward something special.