Today's review is on Islanders forward Trent Hunter.
Trent Hunter entered last season as a pending UFA after going to arbitration in the summer and seemed like he had a lot to build on after a solid second half and playoff against Buffalo.
What can be written about Trent Hunter? His defensive ability, work in the corners and the Isles slogan of grit, character, heart define Hunter's game. He will dive in front of shots shorthanded and gives all he has.
Unfortunately the magic he had in the second half with Mike Sillinger & Andy Hilbert a year ago did not produce the scoring from that line after Sim went down and Hilbert got his spot back with them and it was a major factor in the clubs offensive problems all season. Not sure who can be directly blamed but Hunter's skating has never been the same since his knee on knee with Sean Brown during the 2003-04 season. Having written that despite the long offensive droughts he did match his second best season in terms of points, but big goals and the ability to skate/create chances was lacking all season. He had a few moments but most times it seemed when he scored we would hear about how he does not shoot enough or this was his first goal since.........
Despite any scoring problems or skating limitations Trent Hunter defines the kind of player/person the Islanders want in their organization and the feeling was obviously mutual as the club completed a five year extension that was quietly done with a lot of class on both sides that the public never had a clue was coming. Put the right kind of speed and skill around Hunter and his goals should improve. He will hit anything he can find and never stop fighting for position in front of a goaltender.
Despite his strong defensive play and his high assist total along with a high character game, Isles were counting on a breakout offensive season from Hunter and did not get it. Major factor in the club taking a step back this season which cannot be ignored because Hunter proved at this level and the AHL he can and should be scoring more.
Trent Hunter receives a D.