CHICAGO (June 24, 2017) – The New York Islanders have acquired three draft picks from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Travis Hamonic and a fourth-round selection.
The Islanders’ sent Hamonic and a fourth-round pick in either 2019 or 2020 to Calgary in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, a 2018 second-round pick and a second-round pick in either 2019 or 2020 (which associates with the fourth round pick the Islanders select to send to Calgary).
Hamonic, 26, scored 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 49 games last season. A native of St. Malo, MB, Hamonic has 146 points (26 goals, 120 assists) in 444 career games over seven seasons with the Islanders. The Islanders selected Hamonic in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.
(Courtesy of the New York Islanders)
Multiple reports came out Friday both before, during and after the draft that Isles’ General Manager Garth Snow was seeking two first-round picks for Travis Hamonic. While Hamonic is a steal in terms of cap space ($3.86 million for three more seasons), Snow’s asking price was a bit high. But this was probably just a negotiating tactic; with such a favorable cap hit, it was not necessarily unreasonable, though.
Nevertheless, the Islanders certainly give up one of their best, both on and off the ice. Hamonic is a solid shut-down defenseman with bite and can get the job done. Off the ice, he’s an incredible person, which earned him the 2017 NHL Foundation Player Award this past Tuesday ahead of the NHL Awards Ceremony.
Fans might recall Hamonic requesting a trade to be closer to his family prior to the 2015-16 season’s start. When Snow declined and convinced him to stay, Hamonic rescinded his request in May of 2016. Speculation was abound that Snow would wait until the off-season to deal the 26-year old Manitoba-native. The 2016-17 season came and went in a flash, and now Hamonic and his family are headed to a Western-Canadian city just like he wished for almost two years ago. In Calgary, he may be separated from family by the Province of Saskatchewan, but it’s a lot closer than being in New York.
The Isles boast a healthy pool of prospects, so it is unclear what Snow intends to do with the draft picks. The Islanders dealt their only first-round pick in the 2017 draft to Vegas, so maybe Snow does not want to miss out on drafting in the first round next year. Then again, if the Islanders are committed to winning now, using the picks to bring in extra offensive depth in a middle-six role, or top-four defender would be attainable as well.
If it wasn’t already time for Ryan Pulock to make the roster, this deal cements the fact that the Isles need that powerful, right-handed shot in the fold in Hamonic’s absence. I would also expect Devon Toews to get a good look. Toews won the fastest skater competition at the American Hockey League skills competition this past season. His speed and skill could potentially outweigh his lack of size.
Snow could always visit the free agency list. But it’s worth noting that the pool of free agents this summer isn’t exactly flush. A lot can happen between now and opening night, though.