UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Armed with a three-year deal, Travis Hamonic is ready to make an impact on Long Island.
Hamonic joined fellow New York Islanders prospects this week at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the team's prospect camp, where the 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman was able to give the coaching staff a first-hand look at its second-round pick (No. 53) from the 2008 Entry Draft.
Hamonic said it felt good being on the ice for the first time in over a month, which was "a month too long" for his liking.
He is looking for a spot on the NHL roster this season and knows he "will be under observation throughout this week, especially on and off the ice." Hamonic is looking to prove to coaches that he has grown up over the last few years and said he wants to conduct himself "in a professional manner."
When the Islanders drafted Hamonic two years ago, he was known more as a shutdown defensemen. He has developed his game so that he has become more offensive, to add onto his existing skills as a physical blueliner.
In 41 games between Moose Jaw and Brandon in the WHL last season, Hamonic had 11 goals and 33 assists. He also had 11 points in 15 playoff games for Brandon.
"They are going to get a two-way defensemen. I am a guy who can go out and shut down one of the opponent's top players and put someone through the boards," he told NHL.com. "I get the thrill of a big hit and playing hard for myself and my teammates, and for obviously the fans and the organization. With that being said, I can definitely put the puck in the net and I think I have proven that over the last two years and have developed nicely into a two-way defenseman that can play offense as well."
Isles coach Scott Gordon liked what he saw out of the young defensemen and knows his reputation real well.
"Travis is coming off a great year last year and, whether he starts the year in Bridgeport or he's fortunate enough to make our team out of training camp, he's a guy we have big plans for," Gordon said. "He's hopefully going to be that stay-at-home, shutdown defensemen who will be able to develop and make part of our organization."
With all the young talent showcased at the prospect camp, a lot of people are expecting the Islanders to be contenders down the road. If and when that happens, expect Hamonic to play a major role and come up big when it matters most.
"The bigger the game, the bigger the situation, the better I play, and that is something that I relish and I can't wait to become a part of the Islanders in the next coming years," he said.
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