Islanders Top 25 Under 25: At #15, the injury curse of Calvin de Haan

Come back. - Bruce Bennett

Will the 2009 pick ever be healthy enough, long enough, for us to enjoy his skating and passing at the NHL level?

Given his injury history, which added another unfortunate chapter just three games into the 2012-13 AHL season, there's not much sense betting on the future for Calvin de Haan.

However, given his talent, his youth, and the key role he was assuming in Bridgeport before his latest shoulder injury, there's no sense in writing him off.

Literally. As an asset, he should not be written off.

De Haan is 22 and entering the third year of his entry level contract. He had most of the season to rehab his shoulder and was on the ice (though not back in games) at the end of the Sound Tigers' season. If he stays healthy or even maintains his level of play this season, he'll be worth a no-brainer qualifying offer next summer.

Here is De Haan discussing his shoulder with Michael Fornabaio during the end-of-season wrap in Bridgeport:

“It feels fine. There’s not much else to say. It’s not bothering me at all. Obviously it’s a big offseason.”

“It felt good when I did play.”

It's a familiar refrain -- though this is the first time he lost essentially an entire season to injury -- but at some point we just might get to see what de Haan can offer in the NHL.

Of course, if the Isles are able to see that, they better have insurance. Given their 2012 draft, they probably will.

How our Top 25 Islanders Under 25 panel ranked him:

CIL KQ MikB Mark David MikeFIG Chris Dom
23 13 17 16 15 11 19 15

Though we varied in where we ranked this talent-with-asterisks among our top 25 Isles assets under age 25, the reasoning was all the same:

Keith:

Based on talent, I believe this is where Calvin should be. Based on injury and additional prospects coming into the system, I believe he will slip down the Isles ranks.

Chris:

I still like the kid's skills but how can you be too high on a guy who can't even make it through an AHL season healthy? His body may never be able to sustain a season in the NHL and that's the only thing that has me down on de Haan.

David:

If he had a healthy season, he'd be so much higher on the list. Don't forget he's still only 22.

MikeFIG:

This kid can't catch a break. I should probably have him higher, as he has bounced back well from injury before. But obviously the big concern is durability. It's a shame, since he could be a great powerplay QB.

If his luck changes, if his body holds up, we just might see.

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