Each year, Hit The Ice invites professional trainers and athletes, including NHL players, to meet with the boys and help them improve by sharing their knowledge of the game, their athletic expertise and their life experience. These encounters with pros and trainers are something that HTI players and viewers alike await with relish each year.
Travis Hamonic, who is of Métis ancestry, grew up on Hamonic Farms in Manitoba, mostly farming with his dad and, at the age of five, discovered ice hockey. When he was ten years old, his father Gerald died of a major heart attack. A year after that, Hamonic and his family moved to Winnipeg, where he continued thriving at hockey. He said it was his getaway from the thoughts of losing his father. He grew up in a religious family and during his time with the Islanders, wore number 3 as a sign of the Holy Trinity.
In his first two NHL seasons, Hamonic was the only Islanders player to finish both seasons with a positive plus-minus rating. In the midst of the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Hamonic returned to the Islanders' affiliate in Bridgeport and posted ten points in 21 games. Following the 2012–13 shortened season, in which he helped the Islanders return to the Stanley Cup playoffs, Hamonic became a restricted free agent; he was rewarded with a seven-year, $27 million contract extension by the Islanders.
Before the 2017-18 NHL Season, the Islanders dealt Hamonic to the Calgary Flames. The news was a blessing for Hamonic, who had long expressed a desire to play closer to home.