For the better part of the past two days the New York Islanders’ Travis Hamonic was one of the talks of the N.H.L. At first it seemed all but certain that he would he move for one of Jordan Eberle, Alex Galchenyuk, James Van Riemsdyk, Sam Bennett, Nazem Kadri, or Matt Duchene. As it became more and more apparent that Hamonic wasn’t going to move for any of them, word leaked out that Garth Snow was looking for two first round draft picks - perhaps to couple in a package for a top flight forward
None of these things came to fruition, at least not by the end of day one of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Hamonic is still an Islander and Snow is still looking to pick up that second top-six forward that the team desperately needs to remain competitive in the seemingly impossible metropolitan division. The team managed to flip Ryan Strome for Eberle in a straight one-for-one trade as Snow once again seemed to get the better of Peter Chiarelli. That’s an upgrade for certain, but with the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers respectively adding Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, the Carolina Hurricanes finally adding a starting goalie in Scott Darling, and the rest of the division finishing ahead of the Islanders, there’s still work that needs to be done.
Why the team failed to move Hamonic will leave fans scratching their heads. Two firsts for Hamonic is certainly a steep price in a league where first rounders are generally treated like gold (unless the Las Vegas Golden Knights are threatening to take somebody a team really doesn’t want to move or for some reason a team REALLY needs a Brayden Schenn), but there’s still questions remaining. Was there a refusal by Snow to budge, did offers come in much lower than expected, did he change his mind about moving the long-tenured defenseman, or was the interest around the league really just not there?
Certainly looking like GS will have to adjust his ask on Hamonic tomorrow. Or change course completely.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 24, 2017
Whatever the case might be, Hamonic is still in and Islanders sweater and the team is still seemingly missing a piece they need up front. Hopefully day two brings them more success. If not, perhaps free agency brings them more luck.