25-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Islanders
Calvin de Haan Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $5.9 million contract with the Islanders in July of 2014.
De Haan broke a six-game point drought with two assists and five shots in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Flyers.
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When the Islanders traded up to grab de Haan in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, he was viewed as a skilled defenseman who could lead the rush out of his zone. Several shoulder injuries have set him back, but even when healthy, de Haan has shown little to no offensive upside at the NHL level. With the Isles having upgraded their defense the past couple of seasons and with more prospects on the way, de Haan is no longer seen as a building block for the organization, but rather as a bottom pair defender.
De Haan proved to the Islanders last season that when he stays healthy, he has the talent to compete at the NHL level. He’s always had the reputation of being a good puck-moving defenseman, but his slight build always seemed to come with skepticism that he’d be able to make it through the rigors of an NHL season. Those doubts will persist in some minds, but he still figures to slot in as a first- or second-pair defenseman for the Islanders this season, with duties on the top power-play unit perhaps awaiting. By season’s end, de Haan could develop into a quality depth blueliner for a fantasy squad, but he’s more than likely someone to target next season, assuming he can take that next step and survive for 82 games.
The knock on de Haan ever since he was drafted by the Isles has been that he is undersized and wouldn't be able to handle the defensive rigors of playing everyday in the NHL. Unfortunately for de Haan and the Isles, those prophecies seemed to have come to fruition as he has had multiple surgeries. Although de Haan will once again be given a chance to make the team out of traning camp, another season - hopefully an entire one - at the AHL level is much more likely.
The knock on de Haan ever since he was drafted in the first-round by the Isles is that he wasn't big enough to take the pounding at the NHL level. So far he's proven that prediction to be correct as he has struggled to stay healthy at the AHL level having already suffered several injuries to his shoulder in particular. Still, the Isles are painfully thin on defense and de Haan will get every chance to make the team out of camp, but the odds of him playing an entire season and staying in one piece aren't good. de Haan registered 16 points in 56 games with Bridgeport last season in the AHL.
De Haan was the Islanders' surprise pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft; surprise in that although De Haan has the skills to play at any level, he is slight of build and could have a hard time staying healthy in the NHL. He has already proven to be injury prone in the OHL, missing games with both knee and shoulder problems. If he can bulk up and play in the NHL than De Haan can be a steady defenseman who skates well and can move the puck out of the zone seemingly at will.
The Islanders traded up in the first round of the 2009 NHL draft in order to grab De Haan. He is a skilled offensive defenseman who excels at leading the rush out of the defensive zone. Two problems however have slowed his progressions. One, he was only 165 pounds when drafted so he needs to work on his upper body strength, and two, he suffered a shoulder injury that cost him most of last season.
The Isles shocked some people on draft day when they moved up twice in the draft to select DeHaan 12th overall. He was expected to be available later in the first round, but the Isles envision him as the future quarterback of their power-play units and didn't want to lose him. There are some concerns about his size (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but his passing skills and hockey sense make him the best prospect on defense for the Isles (and don't forget he played with John Tavares for a while at Oshawa (OHL) this past season). He needs some time to mature, but he could turn out to be a very good contributor.