School is out and it's time for final grades here at Islanders Point Blank. Over the course of the next month, Brian Erni and I will be taking a look at each of the players and analyzing their 2015-16 performance, from the drop of the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks in October to that 4-0 loss in Tampa that sent New York home amidst roster uncertainty. Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.
44 - Calvin de Haan
6'1, 197 lbs
25 years of age
Contract: Signed through 2016-17, $1.967M cap hit, $2.500M salary - Restricted free agent.
Season stats: 72 GP - 2 G - 14 A - 16 pts - 102 shots - 20:38 ATOI - 50.8 CF%
Career stats: 189 GP - 6 G - 38 A - 44 pts - 267 shots - 20:08 ATOI - 52.2 CF%
The Islanders changed their defensive style heading into the 2015-16 season and while it caused issues with the transition game, it did help to reduce their goals against numbers by 14 (230-216), placing them 13th in the NHL, after finishing 22nd a year earlier. Excellent goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss contributed to those numbers but the team, overall, seemed to do a better job in its own zone and a rebound season by de Haan was a big part of it.
For the third straight season, de Haan finished with an above 50% 5v5 Corsi, and as mentioned in some earlier report cards, his decline from the season prior coincided with an overall team drop in the category.
With the reduction in team puck possession came the opportunity to become one of the league's top shot blockers and that is an area that de Haan excelled in during the 2015-16 season. In his three years in the NHL, he has worked on that part of his game, raising his totals drastically from 104 and 130 to this season's career high 198, which placed him 4th in the entire league. It's a trait that is not for the less committed, as just the thought of stepping in front of 95-100 mph howitzers is as non-appetizing as it seems.
Offensively, de Haan has never been known to be a force, scoring only 19 goals in 157 OHL games, 2 in 59 AHL games and 6 in 189 NHL games. It is probably the one part of his game that was overrated by Islanders fans when Calvin first entered the picture as a 20 year old rookie, appearing in one 2011-12 game. He did set a new personal best in assists with 14, tying his career high in points with 16.
Coming off what was widely considered to be a disappointing sophomore season, it was a nice bounce back for de Haan, who managed to log over 20 minutes a night and stay in the lineup for all but 10 games. He played responsibly and although he needs to improve his personal transition game further, positive steps were very evident in year three.
In the playoffs, he was overwhelmed, as much of the Islanders defense was, by a relentless Florida Panthers team that was heavy on the forecheck and an experienced and fast Tampa Bay team. He finished with two assists in 11 games and a -5 rating, making 60% of his zone starts in the defensive end and finishing at 46.9% 5v5 Corsi, all well below his regular season totals. The learning experience will serve him well, however, as he moves forward with the Islanders, easily cracking their top 4 heading into 2016-17.
IPB grade: B : Nice bounce back by de Haan, who was benched for long stretches at the end of 2014-15. His mental toughness shined very bright.