The Coventry Blaze bolstered their blue-line on Tuesday (21 July) by agreeing to a two-year deal with Canadian defenceman Justin Hamonic. The 27-year-old returns to the Skydome Arena after spending the 2019/20 season in Coventry, when he registered 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 57 Elite League competition appearances in blue and white.
Although Hamonic had agreed to continue his association with the Blaze for 2020/21, the Winnipeg native iced 69 times for the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers instead due to the coronavirus pandemic. On his North American return, Hamonic registered 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) and was recognised as the Oilers’ defensive player of the year.
Of the stay-at-home defenceman’s return, Coventry Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said: “Hammer was a huge part of our success last season. Nothing flashy, but from a coach’s standpoint, he is what every team needs. He wins puck battles, puck races and is very tough to play against for opposing forwards.”
His conditioning and professionalism is phenomenal
– Danny Stewart
“He was massive for our penalty-kill last season and will once again be a top pairing d-man for us. His ability to eat minutes is also a huge factor in our commitment to him for a further two seasons. His conditioning and professionalism is phenomenal.”
Hamonic spent a year in France with Ducs d’Angers before he arrived in Coventry, contributing 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 47 appearances.
Earlier in his career, the 6’4” blue-liner played almost 200 games in the AHL and ECHL, earning the associate captaincy while with the Worcester Railers in 2017/18.
A graduate of the WHL, Hamonic spent four years with the Tri-City Americans, where he made 255 appearances and spent two seasons as captain.
It isn’t the norm for players, import or otherwise, to sign two-year contracts in the Elite League.
As a result, Justin Hamonic’s long-term deal with the Coventry Blaze is especially significant. After making a positive impression during his debut EIHL season, the former Tri-City American was always likely to be a player that Danny Stewart would want to retain. By signing a two-year contract, Hamonic has repaid Stewart’s trust.
And it is clear why Hamonic is a player that the Blaze front office deems trustworthy. The Canadian is a PK-specialist who uses his body well and rarely makes mistakes.
With another piece of their 2019/20 core re-signed, Blaze fans should be pleased with their organisation’s work this off-season.
Blaze Signings So Far:
C.J. Motte – 29-year-old goalie, USA
Jordan Hedley – 24-year-old goalie, GBR
David Clements – 26-year-old defenceman, GBR
Justin Hamonic – 27-year-old defenceman, CAN
Ross Venus – 27-year-old forward, GBR
Alex Forbes – 25-year-old forward/defenceman, GBR
Luke Ferrara – 28-year-old forward, GBR
Johnny Curran – 26-year-old forward, CAN