De Haan's de-man

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Calvin de Haan's stock rose when he had the chance to play with John Tavares.

Now he's going to have the chance to do it again.

The Islanders took de Haan with the 12th overall pick after trading up twice to grab the Carp-born defenceman, who finished second in Oshawa Generals' scoring this season with eight goals and 55 assists for 63 points in 68 games.

The Islanders traded for the 16th pick from the Blue Jackets, then used that pick to move up again in a trade with the Wild.

"We had good chemistry going on before his trade (from London)," de Haan, a 6-foot, 170-pounder, said of Tavares, the No. 1 pick.

"Hopefully that can translate into the NHL one day."

As a rookie, de Haan was given an opportunity to play point on the Oshawa power play when the Generals' regular quarterback, Michael Del Zotto, spent the early part of the season with the Rangers.

When Del Zotto returned, de Haan still was given power-play time.

His ability to make good with it helped bump his value in the eyes of NHL scouts.

"I was surprised ... I was not even ranked in the teens at all this year," he said.

"I was ranked towards the latter end of the first round, and I'm still trying to take it all in. It's pretty surreal."

The word is de Haan needs to get stronger.

"I would like to play in the NHL right away, that would be obviously a dream come true," he said. "But I don't think another year or two in junior would hurt my development at all."

PROUD PARENTS

De Haan said his parents were "pretty pumped" about him being drafted.

"I think they may have been a little bit more surprised than I was," he said. "I think they are pretty happy right now, and pretty proud."

Asked how he sees himself fitting into the Islanders system, he compared himself to the team's best defenceman.

"I think I could be a power player for the Islanders, a puck-moving type of guy, a guy like Mark Streit," said de Haan.

"I also try to play like Scott Niedermayer. He's been my idol since (Anaheim) went on a Cup run a few years ago."

DON.BRENNAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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