As I continue my wish list of the “available” players in the NHL who I would most like to see play for the Buffalo Sabres, I feel compelled to remind everyone: while I am highlighting players I truly feel could improve the Buffalo Sabres, this is a wish list! Whether or not it comes true is not my concern; generating discussion about who YOU would like to see from each team, is!
Travis Hamonic, Defense
Looking for an offensive-minded defenseman? Look elsewhere; offense is the last thing I am looking for when I watch Hamonic play for the Islanders. After all, he’s only scored 10 points in this, his third season in the NHL. Hell, he’s only scored 60 points total in three seasons, a mere 12 points more than Tyler Myers scored in his rookie season.
And yet . . . Hamonic was one of only eight Islanders to play in every single game this season. He led the Islanders in shifts per game (27.2) and was fourth on the team in average ice time (22.48 minutes per game). Spend a little time watching him, like I did at the Sabres final game of the season, and it’s not too difficult to see why the Islanders are so willing to play this kid when he is only the fourth highest-scoring defenseman on the team. In the limited time I spent watching him (after all, it was Ryan Miller‘s 500th game, remember?), I managed to jot down these observations:
- plays physical
- not huge but a good-sized kid
- active getting his puck on passes and shots
- seemed to be in good defensive position more often than not
- two blocked shots that I saw (he actually ended the game with 6, only three less than the entire Sabres team)
Hamonic only took one shot against the Sabres on Friday, yet he logged 24:29 minutes of ice time. He was never out of position that I