My Islanders Account


  • RSS


The New York Islanders recalled defenseman Travis Hamonic from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on emergency loan, will make his NHL debut on Wednesday

Tuesday, 11.23.2010 / 4:48 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
Share with your Friends

The New York Islanders defensemen are one of the youngest squads in the National Hockey League with a median of 26. But on Tuesday morning, they got even younger. Twenty-year-old defenseman Travis Hamonic is expected to make his NHL debut on Wednesday night when the Islanders faceoff against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Like any other young player, Hamonic was thrilled to get the call.

“I was actually sitting on my couch,” Hamonic said. “I live with three other guys back in Bridgeport. One of my roommates (Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin) kind of joked around and looked at his phone and said, ‘I think you just got called up.’ So, I kind of got bug-eyed there for a second, ran up to my room and checked my phone, had a couple of missed phone calls, so I called my coach back up in Bridgeport.”

Immediately, Hamonic got on the phone to St. Malo, Manitoba to tell his mother and brother the good news, but the youngster is wise beyond his years and knows that keeping a level head will be a key to his success in the NHL.

“There’s going to be a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves,” Hamonic said about making his debut. “But, for me, I just want to make sure I go into the game playing calm and – just knowing that I got here doing what I’ve been doing. I really don’t want to get out of my comfort zone.”

Hamonic will be the seventh youngest defenseman to play in the National Hockey League this season, although Alexander Urbom (New Jersey Devils) and Nick Leddy (Chicago Blackhawks) are currently playing in the American Hockey League.

Despite his age, Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano knows that Hamonic is ready as he coached the defenseman in 15 games with Bridgeport this season before he got the call up to the NHL himself.

“He has good size,” Capuano said. “I’ve never coached a team where we’ve had five right-hand defensemen, but besides being a young prospect that shoots the puck extremely well, he plays physical and has come a long way the first month-and-a-half or two in Bridgeport. He activates, and he’ll join the rush. Hopefully, his nerves are where they need to be and he can just go out and have fun.”

Recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday morning, Hamonic has made an outstanding debut in the American Hockey League. The rookie leads all Sound Tigers defensemen in scoring with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in his first 19 professional games.

“I think, whether it’s the American League, Junior, or the NHL I think whenever the game’s being played on the ice, it’s the same hockey game,” Hamonic said. “For me, I just want to go out there and make sure that I do what I do. I’m going to be keeping it simple out there, using my body and my skating ability to my advantage out there. Hopefully I can make some sort of difference.”

Capuano isn’t worried about Hamonic adjusting to the NHL. Besides making a great debut with the Sound Tigers, Hamonic earned a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championship, scoring one goal with two assists in six games.

“I think it will be pretty quick,” Capuano said. “He’s a guy who has had some pretty good experience in the World Championships, obviously not in the NHL, but I thought he had a really good Training Camp here. As long as Travis plays it simple, and his angles and his stick work down low are good, I don’t have any problem with Travis. I think he’ll adjust fairly quickly.”

Travis Hamonic #36 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center during preseason on October 1, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Selected by the Islanders in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the defenseman has had a few years of conditioning under his belt as he’s played the last four seasons in the Western Hockey League.

Last season, Hamonic earned 44 points (scoring 11 goals and 33 assists) in 41 regular season games, splitting the season with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Brandon Wheat Kings. The defenseman added 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 15 games during the Memorial Cup Playoffs with Brandon.

Playing in the WHL, Hamonic was one of the larger players. But playing amongst 17 and 18-year-olds is much different than playing against men in the AHL or NHL, especially since Hamonic is a physical player that likes to use the body. As a result, the rookie spent his off season working extremely hard to strengthen his 6’2” 208-pound frame.

“I knew coming into the summer this was going to be a big season for me,” Hamonic said. “I really worked hard in the gym, both on and off the ice. Off the ice was not so much conditioning as strength building. I knew whether it was in the NHL or the AHL level, I would be playing against men.”

While he’s only been playing professional hockey for less than two months, Hamonic said that he has learned how to use his body better, he’s better at joining the rush and he’s built up his confidence, especially since he’s been playing a lot of minutes.

“It was a big learning curve and I’m glad I had that opportunity to really develop my game, but I’m ready to make an impact here in the NHL,” Hamonic said.

The best part of playing in his first NHL game will be sharing the experience with his mother and brother.

“They’re really looking forward to (my debut),” Hamonic said. “This is as big for them as it is for me right now because they’ve really supported me throughout the way. And obviously with my father not being here anymore, passing away 10 years ago, they’ve really been there every step of the way. It’s a big moment for me, but probably bigger for my family.”




1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Tavares 47 18 19 -6 37
K. Okposo 48 12 25 -9 37
B. Nelson 50 20 11 0 31
F. Nielsen 50 15 16 -2 31
M. Grabovski 50 9 15 1 24
J. Bailey 49 8 15 4 23
A. Lee 50 7 14 0 21
N. Leddy 50 3 17 -12 20
R. Strome 39 5 13 -8 18
N. Kulemin 50 5 9 6 14
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 13 6 2 .927 2.32
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster | Terms of Use