24 November 2010
Travis Hamonic couldn’t have asked for a better thanksgiving week if he tried. Yesterday morning Hamonic was recalled by the New York Islanders and is set to make his NHL debut tonight against Columbus.
“I got all antsy and I felt like a little kid again on Christmas morning,” Hamonic said while describing his reaction to the news. For the 19, soon to be 20, year old, it’s been a lifelong dream to get to this moment. “It’s been a lifetime wanting to play in the National Hockey League and when you finally get that call for the first time, there’s nothing like your first game.
Even in all the excitement, Hamonic Knew just who to call.
“I got on the phone right away to my family back home,” Hamonic said after the morning skate. ”They're just as excited because they've definitely been here along the way with me and it's nice that I can share it with them.”
Harmonic’s family made arrangements and will be on hand at the Coliseum tonight for their son’s first NHL game.
While Hamonic may not have made the team out of training camp, he has been playing very well down in Bridgeport. Harmonic leads the Sound Tigers defensemen in points.
However his stats aren’t the only indication of how well he has been doing. His coaches and teammates are also singing his praises.
“He's got some size, he’s a good skater and obviously a good puck moving defensemen,” Jack Capuano told reporters gathered at the morning skate. “He'll give us a shot from and give us the physical play if we need it.”
Dylan Reese also had plenty of good things to say about the young Isles defensemen.
“Travis is going to be a great player, there is no question,” Reese told WRHU Saturday morning prior to the Panthers/Isles game. “He's a great two way player, very physical, he’s been fighting quite a bit, not afraid to get out there and help out. He's got a great hard shot from the point and I think he's going to be a really great player. He's fine tuning his game and he came in with a lot of confidence, which is great for a rookie. He wasn’t afraid to make a play which is what you want at that level.”
Hamonic made sure he made mention of the people down in Bridgeport who have helped him along the way.
“The coaching staff and management down in Bridgeport showed a lot of confidence in me giving me a lot of ice time and a lot of big minutes in a lot of key situations,” Hamonic explained. “(I had)a lot of good teammates down (in Bridgeport) that defiantly helped me along the way and obviously the coaching staff helped me a lot to, So I'm thankful.”
Hamonic described tonight's game as the “biggest one in my career." He will have to overcome one thing tonight, the butterflies that go along with making your NHL debut.
“Obviously there is going to be a handful of emotions that going through my mind come the anthems and the warm up, “Hamonic told me. “But for me I’m really going to work hard on calming myself down and not letting those emotions get to my head. I just got to make sure I go out there and play my game and not get out of my comfort zone at all.”
That shouldn’t be too hard to do; this is a young man who’s played in the Memorial cup and on the World stage at the World Juniors. What one more game of hockey for this successful 19 year old defenseman.