The New Liskeard, Ont., native made an impact on the coaching staff during his training camp invite and earned his uniform for the upcoming season.
The 18-year-old centre said it was a relief to achieve his goal.
“I came in expecting to make the team,” he said. “I have been in tier two for two years, so finally all the work paying off, was nice to see.”
Ton scored 15 goals and set up 28 more for 43 points in 53 games last season with the Rayside-Balfour Canadians of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Rob Ridgley, the Islanders Ontario scout, saw him play and recommended he be invited to camp.
“He’s a kid that has had a track record of producing offence,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “We think he has a lot of potential. He plays the game the right way.”
The OHL’s Owen Sound Attack drafted Ton 213 overall in the 2015 draft. He attended two training camps, but didn't crack a deep Attack squad.
“After my second year trying out for Owen Sound . . . I thought, ‘Wow, this might have been my last chance,’” Ton said. “I knew, coming in this year, this was my last chance to make a major junior team.”
Hulton said he made the most of the opportunity provided to him.
“He’d been the one mainstay of camp, a kid who really wanted to make the team,” he said. “He was noticeable pretty much every ice session, played with a little bit of grit and jam and had high energy and also had the skill package to boot.”
Hulton recalled Ton making a good first impression when he laid a hit on a bigger player during the first pre-season game with Moncton. He also scored a goal on a penalty shot during the pre-season.
“I’m just a hard-working, simple player that plays the body a lot,” Ton said. “(Fans) can expect to see a lot of energy out on the ice.”
Ton has played away from home the past two seasons, but never this far. He checked online and said it is about 1,800 kilometres from Charlottetown to his home in northeastern Ontario.
He went home during the Labour Day weekend to pick up his stuff and is looking forward to the upcoming season.
Ton was planning on attending university in Ontario had he not cracked the Isles lineup. He will now take some online courses this season.