One of the most intriguing story lines of the 2013 season is 19 year old rookie Dougie Hamilton. The latest and final prize from the Phil Kessel extravaganza, Hamilton was a top 10 draft pick in 2011. After spending last season in Juniors, and some time this winter with the Team Canada Under 20 Junior team, Hamilton is being counted on to be a regular part of the Bruins defense corps this season. Hamilton who stands 6’5” and weighs 199 (a frame he is sure to add to as he gets older and stronger) hasn’t looked out of place at all in his first week with the B’s.
Opening night he was paired with Dennis Seidenberg and saw immediate action on the Power Play. Hamilton logged a total of 13:40 in ice time and Claude Julien trusted him out there with less than five minutes remaining and the Bruins leading by two goals. Then on Monday afternoon with Seidenberg inured, Julien paired Hamilton with captain Zdeno Chara. Again Hamilton saw significant PP time (2:03 out of a possible 4:00) and logged an impressive 23:27 of ice time. The only time Chara and Hamilton were separated was when the B’s were on the penalty kill. Wednesday in New York, Hamilton skated with Andrew Ference for most of the first and second period and saw 18:55 of ice time (4:23 out a possible 9:13 on the PP). Dougie did start the game paired with Chara and gave the puck away in the first :10 seconds of the game for a scoring bid by the Rangers. He and Ference also left Marian Gaborik alone in front of the net on Gaborik’s second goal which put the Rangers up 2-0. But in all he looked as comfortable as he’s been so far fitting in seeing Power Play and Penalty Kill time .Hamilton on the PP was impressive getting a hard shot through on goal in the first period that set up Chris Bourque for a tip attempt. Later in the second period , he recorded his first NHL point when his shot from the blue line was deflected in by Brad Marchand. Hamilton also showed he wasn’t afraid to carry the puck into the offensive zone and try to create scoring chances, and almost set up Seguin for a goal in the second period in such as situation. Julien also trusted Hamilton in a late tie game
Hamilton has shown mobility in his first week in the NHL, attacking in the offensive zone and having the ability to get back and not be out of position. He seems to have trouble at times keeping the puck in at the point, but that’s probably rookie jitters. In his own end he has been solid if not spectacular as of yet, and his physical game should pick up as he gains experience and confidence. Dougie has given the PP unit chances by getting shots through on net and creating rebound and deflection chances and should really help a PP unit which always seems to scuffle. Hamilton can still be returned to his Junior team after his sixth NHL game but it looks like he’ll be around for the Bruins for the long haul.
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