Eyes on Isles– Islander Season Review – #3 Travis Hamonic
By John Panarese
It is amazing to me how some guys, as few as they are, can really step in and rise to the occasion to take full advantage of an opportunity. It was claimed last season when Travis Hamonic first started logging minutes for the Islanders that he was being “rushed” and that his development was going to be hurt by the work load and expectations that were being placed on the young man.
A rash of injuries to the back line forced management to have to push Hamonic along and his role was probably one a twenty year old defenseman should not have been given so early on. However, not only did Travis step up like a pro and get the job done, but with his partner, Andrew MacDonald, he became part of the top pairing for the club. His physical play and flashes of offense surely earned him a regular shift, and his calm, solid play in his own zone earned him time on the PK, even strength and on the power play.
As far as I am concerned, Travis Hamonic only picked up where he left off last season. He continued to demonstrate the plain fact that he will be part of the top six blue liners for the Islanders for years to come. Despite missing 9 games with a broken nose, he was a +6 in the 73 games he played in, tallying 2 goals and 22 assists.
Of course, every night was not perfect and he had his moments of mistakes, but those instances were far and few between. To me, Travis was the most physical presence the Isles had on defense, and he is not afraid to drop the gloves when necessary. At the same time, though, he does not lose his head and demonstrated quite a bit of leadership on a young team. Again, partnered with A-Mac again, in my opinion, they were the best pairing the Islanders had out there night in and night out on the D.
As a grade, I’d have to say Travis Hamonic earned a solid B Plus. If there is one part of his game that I would personally like to see “improved”, that would be his offense. He has a nice shot from the point, but needs to get it on net with greater consistency. With that said, though, that part of his game will come with continued playing time and growing confidence.
I do not back down at all in my assertion that Hamonic is a definite part of the top six defensemen the New York Islanders have in the fold. Maybe, he was brought up from Bridgeport a bit “too early”, but he made the adjustment rather quickly and made it look quite easy as well. I have no doubts that we will see good things from Travis next season and for years to come.
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