Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
FRANÇAIS Official Site of the Ottawa Senators

ALL regular season home game TICKETS ON SALE NOW!


Hamonic hoping he made most of opportunity

Moose Jaw defenceman just made the cut for NHL draft combine

Monday, 16.06.2008 / 11:29 AM / Features
Share with your Friends

Hamonic hoping he made most of opportunity
Travis Hamonic may have been the final North American skater invited to the 2008 Scouting Combine, but that fact certainly doesn\'t diminish the kind of player he is. He hopes to see the fruits of his Combine effort on Draft Day.

Having received the No. 75 North American skater ranking by NHL Central Scouting allowed Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Travis Hamonic to attend the draft combine.
As the final North American skater invited to participate in the 2008 NHL scouting combine last month, you would think 17-year-old defenceman Travis Hamonic of the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors would be a nervous wreck.

After all, what, exactly, did the No. 75-rated North American skater by Central Scouting have that No. 76 Samuel Groulx or No. 77 Patrick Wiercioch didn't?

"I'm very conscious when we get to rankings within that 70 through 75 range, but there's got to be a line drawn somewhere," said E.J. McGuire, NHL Central Scouting's director. "We felt strongly, based on our assessments, that the No. 75 guy is different in many ways than the No. 98 guy. I congratulate Travis, but just because he was invited does not guarantee he'll be drafted, even though 98 per cent of the players invited to the combine get drafted. The most important thing for him was that he was there and had an opportunity to make an impression."

That's precisely how the Winnipeg native approached his chance of a lifetime.

The moving man
Adam Comrie knows what it's like to move around with his roots shifted from Ottawa to Virginia and back. The final move has resulted in another move -- up the Central Scouting ranking list. …more

Leveille a Golden prospect
The Golden Horseshoe League isn't regarded as a pipeline for future NHL stars, but Daultan Leveille could change all that. He has made an impression on talent evaluators. ...more

Related Links:
"Everything I've proven on the ice to reach this point, I wanted to prove with just as much passion in the interview rooms and in the workouts (at the combine)," Hamonic said. "I wanted to prove my work ethic and allow these scouts and general managers to see that I'm a well-spoken man. I went to the combine wanting to back everything up that I've accomplished all year, proving my professionalism and leadership."

It's the humility and conviction in Hamonic's voice that likely afforded him a spot among the 107 prospects at the combine. Hamonic had 15 interviews over two days prior to his fitness testing in Toronto.

It also didn't hurt that Hamonic exhibited a toughness and ability to play through pain.

"I talked to his coach at Moose Jaw (Dave Hunchak), and he told me that Travis missed a month of the season with a broken jaw but actually finished the game in which he suffered the injury,"  said Peter Sullivan, who watches the WHL for NHL Central Scouting.

B.J. MacDonald, who scouts the WHL and British Columbia Hockey League, feels Hamonic could be a sleeper in the 2008 Entry Draft, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Scotiabank Place.

"Travis is very heady and steady," praised MacDonald. "He's smart with the puck, has good natural instincts and reads the play nicely."

Hamonic didn't consider it a big deal that he was the final North American skater invited to the combine.

"It was definitely a great honour to be there," he said, "but I mean, I could be No. 75 or No. 50 and the bottom line is that it's just a number. Everyone at the combine was there for the same reason -- making the most of an opportunity."

Hamonic, who had five goals, 17 assists and 101 penalty minutes in 61 games and was named Scholastic Player of the Year at Moose Jaw in 2007-08, also was invited to play for the gold-medal winning Canadian team at the 2008 World Under-18 Championship in Kazan, Russia, in April.

"Travis comes to play in every game. He's very energetic and has improved by leaps and bounds," Sullivan told "He's the type of kid you notice each time he's on the ice."

"He's smart with the puck, has good natural instincts and reads the play nicely." -- B.J. MacDonald, NHL Central Scouting on
Travis Hamonic
On the Canadian U-18 Team, Hamonic had an opportunity to play alongside Central Scouting's No. 18-rated skater, defenceman Colten Teubert.

"It was nice that we won a gold medal together and, playing for Regina, I've also gone up against Travis many times," Teubert told "I feel he's a great player and certainly deserved a chance at the combine. He's one of those guys you would love to have on your team."

At Moose Jaw, Hamonic gained experience on the power play playing alongside Keaton Ellerby, a 2007 first-round draft choice (10th overall) of the Florida Panthers. Ty Wishart, a first-round pick (16th overall) of the San Jose Sharks in 2006, also fortified the blue line for the Warriors.

"It's very tough comparing players, but some drafted in the first round never improve in their second year while those drafted in the middle rounds have been able to make that turnaround," Sullivan said. "That's where I see Travis. He's a good skater with quick feet, and while he could be as high as a second-round pick, it wouldn't surprise me if he's chosen in the sixth round, either."

Following his successful combine, Hamonic (6-foot, 190 pounds), who also earned a silver medal with Manitoba at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, is looking forward to draft day.

"Right now, he's a good junior hockey defenceman, but what he has to do to get to the next level is develop his offensive game," said MacDonald. "He plays the power play for Moose Jaw but must learn to run the power play. If he can learn and add that offensive flair, which he is capable, then that'll put him a cut above and be more of an asset for a pro team."

It wouldn't surprise MacDonald if Hamonic were drafted as high as the third round.

"It all depends on how teams felt he did at the combine," he said.

Hamonic is confident his determination and desire will get him through.

"My coaches at Moose Jaw worked with me so well throughout the year and always put in the extra hours with me and I'll always be thankful for that," he said. "It's because of that work that I'm benefiting right now and I don't intend on losing it.

"I know the importance of speed, skating and skill and how you must possess all three to be a complete player. I know I'll have to be a well-rounded skater. You can't just have one attribute and expect to play a big role for a team, so that's something I'll work at every day."

Contact Mike Morreale at

Author: Mike G. Morreale | Staff Writer




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06