As much as it stunk to see Calvin de Haan experience false start after false start to his pro (and should-be NHL) career, it was that great to see him enter the New York Islanders lineup this past spring and immediately make an impact.
All of the advance praise was there. All of the calm play, smart decisions and insightful passing was there -- with a bonus of him being a great complement to Travis Hamonic.
It was just a quarter of a season -- and there was another minor injury along the way -- but the healthy performance was enough to put him at #5 on our Islanders Top 25 Under 25 as he approaches his age 23 season.
De Haan is another key youngster due a new contract this summer as an RFA. Good luck figuring out how to project that one.
|CIL||Keith||Mike B.||Mark||Mike L.||Chris||Dom|
When it's close I tend to favor defensemen, so Cal gets the nod over Strome for me. I am pleased that he's made a positive impact despite losing so much development and practice time to his injuries. Second-best Isles defender in CorsiRel this year, behind only Lubo (who only played 24 games), and chipped in 16 points in 51 games.
If it were up to Islander fans, Calvin de Haan would have been their team's Masterson nomination, not Colin McDonald. The talent was always there, but the body seemed unwilling and injury prone, leading many to write de Haan off as a busted pick. Even if you're not an Islander fan, you have to be happy for de Haan and his breakout year.
I think he is the Isles best D-man under 25 at the moment. He's fast, very smart defensively, positionally sound, has excellent gap control, can make that first outlet pass or carry the puck out of the zone. His slapper is still a bit below average, but de Haan is an above average passer, hitting tape to tape even on the fly. If he can stay healthy, de Haan is the real deal.
Have to admit after those injuries I had written him off coming into last season.
I always had him lower because of concerns over his durability. Looks like that's behind him, and he always looks solid. His passing ability is nothing to sneeze at, either.
What did I say about de Haan in last years Top 25U25? "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."
Well he hasn't proven me wrong yet, but he's 62% of the way there. Fingers crossed, because this kid is good.
Another rookie who came in and was nothing but solid. Of course it's a small sample size, but CdH was everything he was billed to be this season. If only he was in the lineup sooner...
Bossy willing, he stays in the lineup now.