The New York Islanders lost two things on Saturday, the game, and top-four defenceman Travis Hamonic. At 7:49 in the first period, against the Edmonton Oilers, Hamonic blocked a shot, from Patrick Maroon, off his thumb. The puck bounced to Leon Draisaitl, who promptly put it behind Jaroslav Halak. The power-play goal tied up the game at two, and caused an early exit for Hamonic, who didn’t return that night. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks. The Oilers went on to win in a shootout, the final score being 4-3.
Travis Hamonic to Miss 4-6 Weeks with Thumb Injury
Hamonic has played in all 12 games for the Islanders so far this this season. In those, he has five points. He has been paired with Nick Leddy, and had the potential to have a fairly good season. He has a career high of 33 points. However this injury limits him from even attempting to approach that number. The points are secondary though as the Islanders will miss his steady defensive presence.
In his place, Adam Pelech is getting called up from the AHL. It is suspected that he will play on the right side alongside Leddy. Pelech wasn’t expected to get much NHL playing time this season, but he’s the Islanders best bet when it comes to filing an injury role. He’s only played in nine NHL games, all coming last season, and he had two assists in those games. Since Hamonic is going to be out for at least a month, this is Pelech’s chance to finally shine as an NHL defenseman. He currently has four points in ten AHL games.
Although the injury is untimely for the struggling Islanders, it is also a good opportunity to see how their defense is going to shape up in the years to come. Dennis Seidenberg is a likely candidates to be dropped in favour of a younger defenceman in future years. Pelech is also getting a golden opportunity to show that he is NHL ready. He needs to run with this opportunity. It will be interesting to see how he is able to take advantage of the ice time he’s given.