Monday, September 30, 2013

Predictions: Defensemen

Today, we will continue our prediction series by talking about the teams projected top six defensemen.

1) Travis Hamonic

6 goals

24 assists

30 points

After signing a big extension in the off-season I think Hamonic will come out this year and further prove why that deal was a bargain by not only improving his offensive game but improving his defensive game as well.

2) Andrew MacDonald

5 goals

17 assists

22 points

After having his playoffs cut short last year by a hand injury I think MacDonald will come out and continue to excel with his longtime partner Hamonic.  Not only that though, being a contract year for MacDonald may prove to be an extra motivator for him as the year wears on.

3) Lubomir Visnovsky

10 goals

30 assists

40 points

After causing some controversy when being traded here, Visnovsky ended up coming here and was a big piece of the defense on the way to the Islanders first playoff birth in 7 seasons.  With the departure of Mark Streit to the rival Flyers, Visnovsky will be looked upon to pick up some of what the team lost in Streit in the offensive zone.  Being someone who has been one of the better offensive defensemen in the league for a long time I think Visnovsky will have little issue adjusting to his role with the increased responsibility.

 photo courtesy of

4) Brian Strait

2 goals

10 assists

12 points

After struggling in the pre season this year, Strait is looking to revert back to his pre injury play of last season that earned him a three year contract with the Islanders.  If he is able to get back to that play, the Islanders would be in a much more comfortable position defensively then they currently sit.

5) Thomas Hickey

4 goals

15 assists

19 points

After being claimed on waivers before last season, Hickey ended up finding a place with Lubomir Visnovsky as his partner and it did wonders for his game.  After signing Hickey to a two year deal over the summer, the Islanders are hoping the play they saw down the stretch alongside Visnovsky can be something Hickey shows on a consistent basis.

 photo courtesy of

6) Matt Donovan

8 goals

17 assists

25 points

The departure of Mark Streit over the summer opened up a spot on the Islanders blueline and as was speculated highly over the summer, it appears that the spot is going to go to Matt Donovan.  Over the last two seasons Donovan has managed to put up 93 points in Bridgeport.  Last season Donovan tied Justin Schultz for the league lead in scoring amongst defensemen.  Also last season, Donovan added a bit of an edge to his game amassing 112 penalty minutes.  I think Donovan will fit in fine on the Islanders blueline as well as possibly the point on the teams second power play unit.

Guys who could see time:

1) Griffin Reinhart

1 goal

2 assists

3 points (these stats reflect Reinhart getting a 9 game tryout and then being sent back to juniors)

It has been speculated recently that the 19 year old defenseman was going to make the Islanders out of camp and get a 9 game look before the team decides if they want to send him back to his juniors club or keep him with the team for the season.  Based off his play this pre season, it is hard to argue with the team deciding to do this if they go that route.

2) Matt Carkner

0 goals

3 assists

I think Carkner will see action selectively depending on the opponent when the coaches feel a bigger body might be useful for them.  After having a so/so regular season last year, Carkner proved to be more valuable when it came to the playoffs.

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