WINNIPEG — St. Malo’s Travis Hamonic is playing in Winnipeg for the first time since news broke in the fall, he had requested a trade prior to the start of the season.
Hamonic, 25, remained a member of the New York Islanders through the NHL’s trade deadline, despite asking to be moved closer to home because of a “personal family matter”.
Hamonic did not speak with reporters after Thursday morning’s game day skate at MTS Centre but the Isles head coach openly discussed Hamonic’s odd situation.
“Every time we come here we talk about Travis,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. “We’ve known about this. You guys didn’t know and he was still playing his best hockey and I’ve said that before. He’s a great teammate. He wants to win. He’s focused on the New York Islanders. When that time comes, it comes.”
Hamonic was drafted by the Islanders in the 2nd round, 53rd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He is playing in his sixth season with the NHL club.
“To me, he is one of the top players in this league and really makes our team go,” Capuano said. “I know there’s been a lot of discussion in the past about Winnipeg and where he might end up. And that’s something him and I have discussed, and he’s focused on his game right now. But when the time comes, if anything does happen, somebody is getting a world class player and a world class person.”
Hamonic has scored five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 57 games patrolling the Isles blueline this season.
“To have that on your mind and continue to play the way he was playing, I mean that just shows you the type of player he is, what type of teammate he is too,” Capuano said. “If something happens in the off-season, then it’ll happen.”
WATCH: Jack Capuano discusses Travis Hamonic’s situation