Coming into the draft the two defencemen that had been projected as Boston Bruins picks at 9th overall were Ryan Murphy from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL and Nathan Beaulieu of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. However, not many people believed that defencemen Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara Ice Dogs would be available at that spot. After rumors of the Bruins potentially trading the pick were shot down, they wasted no time going up to the podium and selecting the big, smooth skating defencemen out of the Onatario Hockey League.
Dougie Hamilton is a great pick at #9, especially for the Bruins who are able to take their time and let him develop into an impact defencemen while still competing for a Stanley Cup. Hamilton, 18, is a native of St. Catharines, Ontario and while he is measured at 6 feet, 4 inches tall, he only weighs in at 187 pounds. Therefore, there is a lot of room from him to grow as both a hockey player and a physical being. TSN's draft coverage compared him to Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and that seems to be a very good comparison because they are of similiar size and both posted numbers in the OHL.
In 2010-2011 Hamilton tallied 12 goals and 46 assists for 58 points in 67 games along with piling up 77 penalty minutes. He also finished third in OHL Top Defenseman voting last year behind Ryan Ellis and Ryan Murphy.
More analysis to come on Hamilton later, but here are some links to Scouting Reports after the jump.
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
"He moves the puck well and makes good outlet passes, he does make good decisions with the puck, moves it very well out of his zone. He's a big guy, he'll take the body. … He uses his size well. He can muscle people off the puck."
In the mold of your prototype top-2 d-man with his size, but some aren't sold on his decision-making. Did have an effective playoff, though. As we've frequently said however, even top D prospects are taking a backseat to centers these days. Some may have him higher on their lists.
Hamilton made steady progress on the Niagara blueline, and averaged more than a point per game in 14 playoff games while leading the Ice Dogs to the third round. Parents were Olympic athletes and older brother Freddie was an NHL draft pick last season. Strengths - Excellent mobility and reach make him difficult to beat one-on-one. Uses his strong, smooth stride to skate his way out of trouble in own zone. deft playmaking abilities on power play. Weaknesses - not overly physical despite imposing size. Prone to mental errors when fatigued, still raw, needs to get stronger. NHL Upside - Size, mobility and offensive could translate into top pairing duties at the NHL level as he fills out.
The 6-foot-4 Toronto native isn’t just a big body for a team’s blueline. He’s got offensive talent as well. "He has the potential to be a real high-end, two-way defenseman at the next level," one scout told THN. "He has the offensive ability and skill set to contribute and the size, composure and toughness to be a shutdown guy."
Hamilton's game, while still a little on the raw side compared to that of Swede Adam Larsson, gives us no reason to believe that he will not make the transition to the NHL at anything less than a physical, two-way #2 defenseman with his ideal size and extremely impressive skating for a guy with his vitals. Compare Hamilton to Larsson's projection of a top two, poised two-way defender and one starts to think that while not overly similar in styles, that their upside is not that far off from one another.
"[Hamilton is] a big, strong kid with a good offensive instinct," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on the Versus draft telecast shortly after the pick. "You always hear this, but we didn't think he'd be there. We were really happy he was there."
Obviously, Boston was sitting there at nine and they’re the Stanley Cup Champions and I’m just really excited right now.
It was a really nice city. The rink was nice, the fans were crazy, which was good to see.
Hamilton on playing alongside Chara: "That’d be pretty special. I wouldn’t be the bigger D partner, that’s for sure...but I’m just going to work as hard as I can during the summer and hope for that opportunity."
[Dougie Hamilton] on his game: "I think I’m a big, complete dman & I can skate well. I’m pretty physical & make good passes & contribute offensively."
[Dougie Hamilton] on his experience at TD Garden: "The fans were basically standing the whole time and cheering...that picture is in my head right now and it’s exciting."
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