Over the past few seasons, rumors surrounding the trade of New York Islanders defenseman, Travis Hamonic have been plentiful. In 2015 the player himself had asked to be traded to be closer to his family as his Mother was sick, though he ultimately rescinded that request. However, this morning it was announced that the 26 year old St. Malo, Manitoba, Canada native was dealt along with a 4th round draft pick in 2019 or 2020 to the Calgary Flames.
Hamonic has been part of the Islanders’ core since he was brought up from the team’s AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers after just 19 games in 2010. Serving as an alternate captain in the 2016-2017 season, this past season was not his best coming away from the year with a +/- rating of -21.
The defenseman had just been honored this past week at the 2017 NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Hamonic received the NHL Foundation Player Award. Each year the award is given to a player “who applies the core values of (ice) hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community”. Hamonic had partnered with the New York Islanders to bring children, who like Hamonic had lost a parent to games as part of his D-Partner Program.
In exchange for Hamonic and a 4th round pick in either the 2019 or 2020 draft, the New York Islanders received three draft picks. The team will receive the Calgary Flames’ 1st round and 2nd round picks in the 2018 draft as well as a 2nd round pick in the 2019 or 2020 draft. In most trades there is a “winner” and a “loser”, with this trade however, it will all depend on what Islanders’ General Manager, Garth Snow can do with these draft picks.
In the past, Snow has been criticized by fans and writers alike for his lack of skill when it comes to draft picks as well as his lack of deal making during the season as well as during the off-season. A trade like this could very well work in the Islanders favor as the team is very strong defensively, having chosen to protect more defenseman than forwards during the Vegas Golden Knights Expansion Draft this past week, so it is possible that some of the younger defensemen on the team such as Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech will be able to step up and fill the role that Hamonic had done for the last 7 years. However, many of the Islanders draft picks in the past have done little to nothing for the team due to poor picking or poor player development. The outcome of this trade as far as how well it fares for the Islanders will remain to be seen in the coming NHL seasons.