New York Islanders Travis Hamonic Trade Worked Out Perfectly
In 2017, the New York Islanders traded Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames for three picks in the draft. How did those picks work out?
Three seasons ago, the New York Islanders traded defenseman Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames. The defenseman had been with the Islanders since they drafted him 53rd overall in the 2008 draft.
Over those nine years, Travis Hamonic became a fan favorite for his hard work on the ice, his no-nonsense approach to the game, and his involvement in the community. Seeing Hamonic go was tough.
In return for losing a bonafide top-four defenseman, the Islanders received three draft picks from the Flames. The Islanders have used all three picks to draft exceptional players. It’s still early to say if the Islanders won the trade, but so far it’s worked out perfectly for them.
Reviewing the Trade
In return for Travis Hamonic (and a fourth-round pick in 2019), the New York Islanders received Calgary’s first-round pick in 2018, a second-round pick in 2018, and a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft.
The season before acquiring Hamonic, the Flames had made the playoffs for only the second time in eight seasons. And they were swept in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames thought they could make the playoffs again the following season, and solidifying their blue line would help.
Fortunately for the Islanders, it didn’t, the Flames missed the playoffs in the 2017-18 season. By eleven points. Their first-round pick fell to 12th in the draft with Carolina jumping to pick second. The Flames second-round pick would be the 43rd overall in the draft.
That wasn’t part of the plan. The picks the Islanders got were supposed to be much later in the draft. Now the Isles were going to have the chance to draft good prospects rather than ones that were “OK”.
And that’s just what the Islanders did. They drafted quality players.
2018 1st Rounder – Noah Dobson
The Isles used the Flames first-round pick in 2018 to take Noah Dobson. The defenseman from the Acadie-Bathurst Titans had just won the QMJHL title and the CHL’s Memorial Cup. Since the draft, Dobson has gone on to win a second QMJHL title and a second CHL title.
The fact that the 19-year-old is already ready for the NHL should tell you everything you need to know about Noah Dobson.
The ceiling for Dobson is a number one defenseman who can not only provide good offense but can also control a game defensively.
You can love Travis Hamonic and still say his ceiling was as a number four defenseman. With the first of three picks, the Isles already have someone who is projected to be considerably better.
2018 2nd Rounder – Ruslan Iskhakov
He’s small. But we’ve seen small players excel at the NHL level if they have talent. And Iskhakov has buckets of talent.
In the Russian junior league, Iskhakov put up close to a point per game with 30 points in 33 games. Last year for UConn, Iskhakov put up 21 points in 32 games. The explosive forward is projected to be a good second-line forward at the NHL level.
2019 2nd Rounder – Samuel Bolduc
We recently saw Samuel Bolduc at the Isles 2019 training camp. The 6’4″ defenseman impressed just about everyone with his level of poise on the ice for an 18-year-old.
He still has to grow and learn, but there’s something there in the second-round pick from 2019. his ceiling isn’t close to Dobson’s but it seems he might belong at the NHL level when he’s ready.
How It’s Done
With the Hamonic trade, the Islanders were able to add three talented players to their system for the price of just one. It’s a textbook example of how to use the trade market to your advantage.
Out of a number four D, the Islanders were able to acquire what should be a number one defenseman (Dobson), a good second-line right-wing (Iskhakov), and a number four to six D at the NHL level.
Credit Garth Snow for acquiring the picks, but also give credit to Lou Lamoriello – and the Isles scouting staff – for targeting and drafting these three players.
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Three years ago the Islanders lost a top-four defenseman in Travis Hamonic. But the three players they got in return have an equal or higher ceiling than the asset they lost. The trade has worked out perfectly for the Islanders.