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de Haan ready to break through

Islanders first round pick Calvin de Haan skates

Islanders first round pick Calvin de Haan skates during a prospect camp at Iceworks in Syosset. (undated file photo) Credit: Getty Images

Twenty years old and already a veteran.

That's defensemen Calvin de Hann, who's taking part in his third mini-camp after helping the Canadian national team win silver at the World Junior Championships earlier this year. And while he said he was honored to score another invite, de Haan's sights are set higher than the long trip back to Oshawa.

For two years, de Haan has made the final round of cuts during training camp. And for two years, he's made it no further.

"Hopefully I can play on the Islanders this season," said de Haan, who saw his 2009-10 season with Oshawa cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery and benched him for six months. "I'm going to do my best to make the big leagues."

Though not the biggest defenseman, de Haan has kept interests high after the Islanders selected him in the first round (12th overall) in the 2009 entry draft. His performance in the WJCs (he tallied a +4 rating in four games in 2010 and +2 rating with five assists in six games in 2011) has underlined his ability to make those around him better. 

It's something Jack Capuano is acutely aware of, and the Islanders coach said Thursday that de Haan would get his shot come September.

"I think Calvin's at a point now where he's a confidence player," Capuano said. "He's had some injuries and he's battled back from that. He's going to use this mini-camp time and spend the next month and a half getting ready for September."

Capuano added: "I like Calvin's attitude. I like where he is mentally. Physically, he's in good shape, but I think in his case after going back last year to junior hockey, he wants to make a statement...he'll have that opportunity."

New York Sports