Losing Calvin de Haan will be a big blow to an already defensively challenged New York Islanders but could act as an opportunity to recall some of the team’s more successful prospects, Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho.
New York Islanders Calvin de Haan was placed on the injured reserve this Monday afternoon. Shortly after, it was announced that this could be the end of the defenseman’s season.
Visibly in pain after a collision with LA Kings forward Tyler Toffoli in overtime on Saturday night, it was expected that de Haan miss some time. However, it was a much harsher blow to the Islanders to potentially lose their third most used defenseman until April.
de Haan is currently the team’s second offensive leader among defenseman with 12 points total and was known for blocking shots in important moments in the team’s own zone. Although his defensive turnovers were sometimes dangerous, de Haan served as one of the team’s most stable defenseman, playing in all 33 games so far this season.
While it is still unclear whether de Haan’s shoulder injury would require season-ending surgery, he will still be missing a considerable amount of time. Although head coach Doug Weight seems confident in the seven defensemen the Islanders could currently play, this seems like the perfect opportunity to explore other options.
It couldn’t hurt to try and shuffle these already struggling defensive pairs by calling up one of the New York Islanders top prospects, Sebastian Aho or Devon Toews. The pair hold the second and third spots among all scoring for the Islanders’ AHL officiate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and could prove useful in the NHL.
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Although on the small side at 5’10’’, Sebastian Aho could add an interesting offensive aspect to a struggling Islanders defence. Earning his first professional hat trick in November, the first Sound Tiger to ever do so, Aho is making a name for himself in the AHL.
He has been touted as one of the Islanders top prospects since his signing, and rightfully so; he has notched a total of 19 points, 8 goals and 11 assists, and is second overall in scoring on the Sound Tigers. He could be a versatile addition to the New York Islanders’ blue line.
Tied with Aho at 19 points on the season and coming up third in the team overall scoring Devon Toews has also continued to be an impressive defensive prospect for the New York Islanders. His scoring success and bigger build would also make him a viable option should the team be looking for a call-up to replace Calvin de Haan.
As of right now, it is unclear whether the New York Islanders would actually consider calling up one of these minor league stars to replenish the team’s blue line. While it was said to be a possibility by Weight this Monday, he seems confident in the pairs he would be working with even in de Haan’s absence.
However familiar we are with the faces we see on defence, now more than ever may be the perfect time to right and bring life to a team struggling in their own zone.