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Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Travis Hamonic, Beast

Orange & Blue revivals? They will meet again.
Orange & Blue revivals? They will meet again.

Travis Hamonic is still just 21 (for two more weeks), but he's the New York Islanders' second-best player under age 25 and he's a good candidate to stay there until his auto insurance rates go down.

Hamonic's sophomore year featured an increase in ice time, a continued NHL baptism with the team's tough minutes, a couple of ridiculous officiating hosings, and one grotesque facial injury.

While jumping from 17:24 per game his rookie year to 19:07 per game in 2011-12, his powerplay time was cut in half (from about two minutes to 1:03 per game) while his PK log stayed and his EV time grew.

If there was one superficial disappointment to his second season, it was that his offensive production didn't increase (from 5-21-26 to 2-22-24) -- but again: powerplay. A defenseman's offensive output isn't going to grow by getting less powerplay time, and regardless Hamonic's chief role is handling the opposition's best whether at even strength or shorthanded.

How We Voted

DOB Draft CIL Mark mikb Chris Dom KQ ICSFI
Travis Hamonic
08/16/1990 2008
2 2 3
2 2 2

That was easy.

Since Hamonic's all-around abilities are well known among Islanders fans at this point, we'll highlight a story from the official site about the aforementioned injury:

"I looked up at the bench and did about two 360s on the ice," Hamonic said. "I’m not sure why I tried to get up. The trainer came out and I just remember moving my hands and seeing the pool of blood that was in my hands. At that moment I realized it was pretty scary and that it was in fact pretty serious. I kept asking the trainer if my nose was there. It sounds kind of funny now, but I just kept asking if it was in place, because it felt like my nose had been ripped right off or something."

No doubt his early Islanders mentor Brendan Witt would be proud.

What followed was that trainer and teammate dance between calming the injured player down ("no, you're fine, no worries") and keeping him from endangering himself further:

"Everyone just kind of kept telling me at first that I had a really bad cut on my nose," Hamonic said. "So I told them, ‘Fine, stitch me up. I want to go.’ I think there were about 12 minutes left in the game at that point. It was a 3-2 game and I was actually arguing with the doctors and the training staff to let me go back on the ice and play. Obviously, they said no."

That story's a must-read, and it continues with the Isles reaching out to Hamonic's mother right away, as she was watching on TV and only knew Travis wasn't returning to the game.

The cleanup and rehab sounded pretty brutal, but of course Hamonic was back as soon as he could be, finishing out the season with a cage.

It's fun to look at Hamonic's progress over the last two years -- he went from the third Islander picked in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft to a fast-rising prospect in short order. Ever since we spoke to him as a newly drafted prospect, and read other stories about his upbringing, we always just got the feeling the kid is solidly grounded and oozes character.

He's still young, but he's not a "kid" anymore. And he's quickly grown into one of the most important current Islanders of any age.

Related Links You'll See with Each 25U25 Post

May 2012 25U25 Panelists: CanadianIslesLifer making a return appearance, as well as most of the authors at LHH.

Note: For those LHH readers who sent their own selections in, JPinVA has them summarized in this FanPost. That one will be fun to measure against our panelists' results.

You can see which other prospects just missed our top 25 in this preview post.


To reflect the variety of ways you can place value on prospects with uncertain futures, we brought a range of philosophies to this poll, which ranks all Islanders (prospect or pro) under age 25: Some voters valued present talent/maturity more, some valued future potential more. All are averaged with the intent of capturing a moment in time in the evolution of the Islanders prospect pipeline.