Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dougie Hamilton Prospect Report, Courtesy Of

Niagara IceDogs (OHL) Defense 6’5” ... 194 lbs. ... Age 18 Acquired: 2011 Entry Draft (1st pick/9th overall)

Dougie Hamilton was selected 9th overall by the Bruins in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The second defenseman taken off the board, Hamilton was asked to describe his own play on the blueline.

“I’m big, I can skate, I’m physical and can do offensive stuff as well,” said the confident, well- spoken 18-year-old. "So pretty complete."

Hamilton proved to be a very well-rounded defenseman to his future teammates and coaching staff when he came to Boston a few months later for Boston Bruins Development, rookie and training camps.

“We’re excited from what we saw from this young player,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien of Hamilton's time with the Black & Gold. “His skating is very strong. I thought he moved the puck well. He’s also a guy that took the ice that was given to him.

"A good heads-up type of player, he has great hockey sense and all the tools to become a real solid NHL defenseman."

Long before he put on an actual spoked-B, Hamilton was asked what it would be like to skate next to veteran Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

“You kind of look up to guys like that - the captain of the team, one of the all-stars in the league,” he said. "Definitely, when I get out there beside him it will be a little surreal."

The eventual reality was that Hamilton was Chara’s defensive partner for several practices and exhibition games during the 2011 preseason.

“I got to watch him for the week and learn from him and see how he acts in practice and what kinds of things he does,” said Hamilton of the B’s captain.

After returning to his junior team, the Niagara IceDogs, the young blueliner said he continues to recall his experiences with Chara and use them to improve his own game.

“I try to bring that back here and play the same way; just try to do all the little things and help the team win and do the right things off the ice as well,” he explained.

Obviously, Hamilton benefited from skating with the defending Stanley Cup Champions as he is off to a great start in the OHL, leading all of the league’s defensemen in goals (9), assists (19) and points (28) through 19 games.

Thanks to his solid performance and scoring success in the beginning of his 2011-2012 campaign, he was also named OHL Defenseman of the Month for October as he registered 20 points (7-13=20) in just 12 contests.

Still only 18-years-old, Hamilton has proven that he is not only a complete player, but is also a well- focused individual and last season Hamilton was chosen as the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year, which is awarded to the individual who excels the most both on the ice and in the classroom.

The first rounder continued to show his leadership qualities and was named alternate captain of the IceDogs this season and was selected to be captain of “Team OHL” that recently competed against “Team Russia” during the 2011 Subway Super Series.

“Not only is he a quality player, he's a quality person as well,” explained Coach Julien during training camp. "Anybody who's taken the time to talk to him has seen that he's a pretty grounded individual."

However, being grounded doesn't mean that Hamilton is satisfied and this talented young defenseman has his sights set on a future in "The Show."

“You’ve got to raise your game,” said Hamilton. "You've got to try and get better every day and work hard to be able to become an NHL player."

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