Oct 4, 2011

Season Preview: Travis Hamonic

Travis Hamonic

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 216 lbs
Birthdate: August 16th, 1990 (21 years old)
Birthplace: St. Malo, MB, Canada
Acquired: Draft, 2nd round, 53rd overall, 2008 NHL Entry Draft

2010-2011 Teams: Bridgeport Sound Tigers/New York Islanders
2010-2011 Stats (BPT): 19 GP - 2 G - 5 A - 7 P - 45 PIM
2010-2011 Stats (NYI): 62 GP - 5 G - 21 A - 26 P - 106 PIM
2011-2012 Team: New York Islanders
Team Role: Top 4 D-Man

Last year: After 19 solid games in Bridgeport, completely dominating forwards in his path and showing off his offensive prowess as well, Hamonic was called up to the Islanders as an emergency after the plethora of injuries to Milan Jurcina, Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald and others. While some figured Hamonic would be completely thrown off guard by the NHL game, it almost seemed as if he shined more in the NHL than he did the AHL. His defensive position was solid, he always kept forwards to the outside, sometimes crushing them with rattling hits. His offensive abilities were extremely underrated as well as he packs a ridiculous slapshot with great offensive instincts on the powerplay. Overall, Hamonic was a great surprise last year and really outplayed every expectation people had placed upon him.

Expectations:  Hamonic should be spending the full year with the Islanders even though he is still on his entry level contract. Everything he's shown has proven he's ready for the NHL on a full time basis. Hamonic will need to continue to work on his vision and skating, but in general he's at a level where he's only a few steps away from being an elite NHL defenseman. He will need to put up some better offensive numbers and should not have much trouble in doing so. Hamonic is a great defenseman who is going to be a staple in this team's defense for years to come.

Projections: 82 GP - 6 G - 34 A - 40 P


AT: Hamonic is turning out to be the brightest spot of the 2008 draft for the Islanders. We saw his play in the CHL, but nobody could have expected this level of progression from such a young kid. He has the body of a true NHL defender and sticks up for his teammates when necessary. What more can you ask out of him? At this point, Hamonic has become my favorite Islander. He does everything he needs to do and shows all the willingness in the world to become even better. He's strong, he's got phenomenal hockey sense and if you've ever met him you know he's one of the nicest guys in the world. We've got a gem here, and as long as he stays healthy he will, without a doubt in my mind, be a top 10 defenseman in 2-3 years.

CH: As Alex alluded to, the sky really is the limit for Hamonic. Aside from John Tavares, there is no current Islander whose ceiling is as high as Hamonic's as it stands. The guy does it all - he is physical, he is good in transition, he has a good slap shot, the ability to create plays, a high maturity level, and an evident drive to be the best. When he was drafted, he was considered a reach in the 2nd round. At this point, he has become an absolute steal. The key for Hamonic this season will be to avoid a sophomore slump. Consistency is the name of the game, and if Hamonic is able to play at a high-level, the Islanders are looking at a top-pairing defenseman for years to come. His entry-level contract expires after the 2012-13 season, and I am sure his contract situation will be at the top of the list for Garth Snow. This is a core player each way you look at it, and the Isles are lucky to have him.

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