With the Stanley Cup Final in the rear view mirror, all of the soon-to-be 31 NHL teams are prepping for an Expansion and Entry Draft frenzy, and Darren Dreger thinks the Islanders are a team to watch.
Dreger said on Tuesday on Montreal's TSN 690 that the Islanders are one of the most intriguing clubs leading up to the two drafts, and GM Garth Snow does have a preference on what defense man he'd like to hold onto.
"When you go through every team, there's probably names that we're not even aware of that might be surprising [...] Because of the expansion draft - and the Islanders, to me, are the most captivating because of Hamonic and because of Calvin De Haan," he said. "They would like to move one of those guys and I'm sure they would prefer to move Calvin De Haan so they can protect Travis Hamonic, but there's a team that we're going to watch closely here in the days ahead."
New York has reportedly been shopping a defenseman in an effort to acquire a top-six forward.
This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. De Haan had a splendid year last year, and Hamonic had a down one, so it's better to sell high on Calvin than low on Travis. Plus, Hamonic is an alternate captain and one of the most vocal leaders in the dressing room. I'm sure the Isles would love to hang onto both if they could. I just don't see how they will.
They could protect both fairly easily and risk losing a player like Brock Nelson. I don't think they'll do that. Instead, I think this is the offseason that Hamonic finally finds a route to be closer to home, while the Isles grab the top-six forward they've long coveted.
Does that mean Matt Duchene? It's hard to say, because the Avalache and the Islanders are both notoriously hard to read. But if I had to put money on it, I'd bet one of those d-men will be in another sweater when training camp opens, and I think it may be Hamonic.