26-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Islanders
Travis Hamonic Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $27 million contract with the Islanders in July 2013.
Hamonic (knee) remained back in Long Island as the team kicked off a nine-game road trip Tuesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
With last season's additions of Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, Hamonic was no longer asked to serve as the top defenseman for the Islanders, which helped him settle into a more natural role. Still an excellent defenseman, Hamonic came through with five goals and 28 assists in 71 games. Playing on the second defensive pair, Hamonic saw his ice time decrease a bit, though heís still logging over 21 minutes per game. He also added 85 penalty minutes, good for the second-highest total on the team behind instigator Matt Martin. A presence on the power play as well, Hamonic is a boon to the Islanders' blue line and can produce for the team in a variety of areas. He's never be the biggest point scorer, but fantasy owners could do much worse than rostering a 25-year-old coming off a 33-point campaign.
Hamonic is the Islandersí definition of a No. 1 defenseman, but with only 13 goals and 65 points in four NHL seasons, he is a far cry from what most teams would consider top-tier. He is good in his own zone and does an adequate job of slowing down the opposing team's top line, but he is miscast as a top-pair defenseman. With Lubomir Visnovsky expected to be back at 100 percent health this season and with Calvin de Haan showcasing more offensive talent, Hamonicís time as the point man on the power play should be coming to an end.
The trade of Mark Streit now leaves Hamonic as the Isles' best all around defenseman. The problem is Hamonic is still much better on defense than he is on offense. Lubomir Visnovsky will anchor the power play but Hamonic should get a chance to partner with him which could be a boost to his fantasy value.
Hamonic gave the Islanders exactly what they needed last year, a solid young presence on the blue line. Following a slow start, Hamonic registered 24 points with 73 penalty minutes along with triple-digit totals in hits and blocked shots. Defense was by far the biggest problem for the Islanders last year and they have had difficulty drawing free agents to play there and also haven't had much luck grooming their own. Hamonic, still just 22, is of use in deep leagues that reward penalty minutes and other secondary categories, just don't expect massive offensive numbers.
Hamonic finally broke through with the Islanders last season, scoring five goals and 21 assists in 62 games. He should be here to stay as the Isles have been waiting for their young defensemen in the minors to mature. Hamonic also adds a physical presence, having accumulated 103 PIMs in the most recent campaign.
Hamonic was the 53rd overall pick in the 2008 draft. He may provide the Isles with the solid hard hitting blue liner they have been looking for in another season or two. Currently Hockey Futures has Hamonic rated as the Islanders second best prospect, behind Nino Niederreiter, but ahead of Calvin De Haan.
If/when Hamonic reaches the NHL level, he has shown some potential to chip in a few points occasionally. However, he is mainly viewed as a stay-at-home defenseman. He will again play for Moose Jaw (WHL) in 2009-10.
Picked in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Islanders, Hamonic will still be in juniors for the 2008-09 campaign.