EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING.
Darren Dreger of TSN tells us that Toronto is highly interested in Travis Hamonic:
Leafs fans...I'm told Toronto is among the teams with strong interest and an offer in on Travis Hamonic. As you were.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 23, 2017
I believe Toronto, Calgary, Detroit and Tampa Bay in hard. Arizona was also interested, but Hjalmarsson trade may change that. https://t.co/vofHLSCKzd— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 23, 2017
Hamonic, 26, is a 6’2 right-shooting defenceman who could pair up with either Morgan Rielly or Jake Gardiner on one of Toronto’s top pairings. He regularly matched up against top competition last season, and comes attached to a three year contract worth $3.86 million per season.
Hamonic is not a major standout in terms of shot attempt differential, but he consistently plays tough minutes both at 5 on 5 and on the penalty kill. This is just my speculation, but acquiring a player with Hamonic’s skill set should convince the Leafs to part ways with Roman Polak. The Leafs continue to be tied to every top right-shooting defenceman available, so it is no surprise that Hamonic’s name is being mentioned in trade rumours.
Other Trades Around the League:
So full deal: Panarin, Motte and 6th Rd pick this year to Columbus for Saad, Forsberg and 5th Rd pick 2018— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 23, 2017
Niklas Hjalmarsson regularly played the right-side in Chicago next to Duncan Keith, so this takes another potential top-4 defenceman off the market for the Maple Leafs. In addition, the New York Rangers shed a big contract off the books by moving Stepan, and the team appears to be the top suitor for Kevin Shattenkirk heading into free agency.
Let’s keep an eye on the Hamonic trade talks ahead of tonight’s NHL draft. I expect a first round pick or two to be involved, but the Islanders could also be interested in adding James Van Reimsdyk to their top-6. Tyson Barrie is also a well-known candidate to be traded in the near future, so keep an eye on that front as well.