Travis Hamonic will be the latest addition to an Islanders’ blue line that has been decimated by injury.
The 20-year-old defenseman will make his NHL debut on Wednesday against Columbus as the Islanders look to snap a 13-game losing streak.
“It’s a pretty exciting moment for me and my family as well,” Hamonic said. “I just turned 20 a couple of months ago so its been a long time that they’ve been supporting me and they are really looking forward to getting down here and seeing me out there.”
Hamonic, who had two goals and five assists in 19 games for Bridgeport, was recalled to replace the injured Mike Mottau, who was struck in the right eye with the puck on Sunday against Atlanta.
“Obviously there is going to be a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves,” Hamonic said. “But for me, I just want to make sure that I go into t he game playing calm and knowing that I got here doing what I’ve been doing. I really don’t want to get out of my comfort zone.
“I think whether its in the American League, Junior, or the NHL, I think whenever the games are being played on the ice, I think it’s the same hockey game. So for me, I just want to go out there and make sure that I do what I do. I’m just going to be keeping it simple out there, using my body and my skating ability to my advantage out there and hopefully I can make some sort of difference.“
Hamonic was paired with James Wisniewski at practice and also reunited with Jack Capuano, who was his coach at Bridgeport until being named the Islanders’ interim coach last Monday.
“He’s a young prospect that shoots the puck extremely well and plays physical. He’s come a long way the first month and half or two at Bridgeport. He activates and he’ll join the rush. So hopefully his nerves are where they need to be and he can just go out and have fun.”
“He’s a guy that has had some pretty good experience in the World Championships,” Capuano said. “Obviously not in the NHL, but I thought he had a really good training camp here. As long as Travis plays it simple and keeps his angles and his stick work down low, I don’t have any problem with Travis. I think he’ll adjust fairly quickly.”