According to Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliote Friedman, Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is on the block. The 25-year old is signed thru 2019-20. He’s currently making $3.75 million on a cap friendly deal that averages $3.857 million per year. Hamonic will earn $4.875 million in each of the final four seasons.
TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted out more details on the Hamonic situation. It sounds like it doesn’t have much to do with the Islanders who have relocated to Brooklyn. But rather a personal matter.
Apparently, Hamonic asked for a trade prior to the season. It looks like he wants to be closer to home. He’s from St. Malo, Manitoba. So that could mean Winnipeg. He’s from there and played for the Winnipeg Saints as a teenager before starring for the Moose Jaw Warriors and finishing with the the Brandon Wheat Kinds of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Dreger also listed Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver as potential suitors.
The Islanders have been quietly trying to move him. However, they are not in position to just seek prospects and draft picks. This is a team that wants to contend. You don’t just give away a top three right-handed defenseman for the future. Especially in their first year at Barclays Center.
“The problem with them trading Travis Hamonic,” one exec said, “is they want… Travis Hamonic,” in Friedman’s story that appeared on sportsnet.ca.
Hamonic is a shutdown defenseman who gets the most minutes on the Islanders. He averages 23:20 per game and over 26 shifts. He’s their most effective blue liner at 5-on-5. When Hamonic is on at even strength, the Isles have attempted 38 more shots (338 SF 300 SA). He pairs with Calvin de Haan allowing Isles coach Jack Capuano to use Nick Leddy with Johnny Boychuk.
Hamonic has played all 19 games this season tallying three assists with 10 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating. If he is dealt, it will be for a similar defenseman that is dependable and can log key minutes. For who that might be remains to be seen.