Sep 16, 2011

Season Preview: Calvin de Haan

Calvin de Haan
Credit: Yahoo

Position: Defense
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 183 lbs
Birthdate: May 9, 1991 (Age 20)
Birthplace: Carp, ON, Canada
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round, 12th Overall, 2009 NHL Draft

2010-2011 Team: Oshawa Generals
2010-2011 Stats: 55 GP - 6 G - 42 A - 48 P - 48 PIM
2010-2011 Stats (Playoffs): 10 GP - 1 G - 11 A - 12 P - 6 PIM
2011-2012 Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Team Role: Top 4 Defenseman

Last year: After an injury played 2009-10 season, Calvin de Haan came back with an extremely solid season for the Generals. He started the year by being named captain of the team, and subsequently put up 48 points in 55 games. Midway through the year, he was named an alternate captain on the Canadian World Junior team, and recorded 5 points in 6 games for the silver medalling team. Finally, de Haan had an outstanding playoffs, recording over a point per game in Oshawa's first playoff appearance since John Tavares played for the team.

Expectations: de Haan's first professional season will undoubtedly be looked at closely by the team and the fans. As far as his game goes, de Haan is very poised with the puck, has great skating ability, and has high-level hockey sense. The long term injury to Mark Katic will certainly give de Haan more time and responsibility quicker, which should be a good thing for a player who has handled situations like that with ease during his junior career. There is no question de Haan is close to making an impact at the NHL level, but it does not seem he is there just yet. However, by the time 2012-13 comes along, there's little doubt he will make the roster and never look back.

Projections: 74 GP - 6 G - 28 A - 34 P


CH: I loved this pick when it was made two years ago, and think that de Haan is going to show more signs that he will be a legitimate, reliable top-4 two way defenseman in the NHL for years to come. He has all the attributes a defenseman needs in this day and age. He's been an assist machine for years in juniors, and with the amount of offensive talent on the team and in the wings, there is no reason why that can't continue. A powerplay quarterback in the true sense of the word, de Haan will be a mainstay in that role for years to come. Of course, it's easy to overlook that de Haan has worked very hard to build muscle mass so that he will be able to physically match up to the size of the average NHL player. But he has done that, and soon it will be his time to show what he's got for the Islanders.

AT: Garth definitely seemed as if de Haan was the player he really truly wanted in addition to John Tavares in the first round. He was drafted a little off the board and Garth Snow traded up in order to ensure de Haan landed in his lap. Clearly there was something he saw, and as we've seen in his time in Oshawa as their captain and during training camps and rookie games, we realize just how special of a player de Haan really is. Supreme hockey sense and vision don't come very often, especially in such a gifted manner as de Haan. It's seemed that everything that people once said of CDH - poor skating, weak, not tall enough - have all been eviscerated over the past few years. During the rookie game especially I noticed him throwing large hits and having a major step up in his skating game. He's begun to fill into his body exceptionally well and will only continue to do so while refining his skills, hopefully in the AHL. I know some believe he is NHL ready but with what I've seen, at least a year of AHL seasoning would be the most opportune choice in order to keep development on the right track. We may have struck gold here - but let's not rush it.

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