Travis Hamonic’s name has been floating around trade rumors since it was reported last season that he had requested a trade closer to his home in Winnipeg. However, nothing came of the request and Hamonic remained an Islander.
And now, he’s on the move to Calgary. The Islanders have traded Hamonic and a 2019 or 2020 fourth round pick for 2018 first and second round picks and a 2019 or 2020 second round pick.
It seems a little strange to give up one of the team’s top four defensemen for future draft picks, but trading Hamonic clears up around $4 million in cap space, and his underlying numbers have shown struggles for the past few seasons.
For people curious about Hamonic, his slump isn't just this past year. Been weak-ish in shots and goals for years. pic.twitter.com/uZOjFivtvN— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 23, 2017
The big worry is whether this means Ryan Pulock will finally get regular NHL time, or if we’ll be seeing another defenseman like Dennis Seidenberg’s role increase. More ice time for Pulock will let the team see what the 22 year old can do, and may help with the Isles’ weak power play, but more for Seidenberg would be a negative from this trade.
The loss of Hamonic leaves a lot of questions about the Isles’ blue line, but should hopefully open up space for the Isles defensive prospects such as Pulock and Devon Toews, as well as Scott Mayfield, who looked promising in limited appearances last season.
Whether the Islanders do something with the cap space or flip the picks for players is yet to be seen, but it’s clear that this move doesn’t help the team now. Time to see what Garth Snow has up his sleeve.
This story is developing.