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Bruins coach Julien: Hamilton has “great chance” to make team

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders - Rookie Game

UNIONDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Dougie Hamilton #53 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders during a rookie game exhibition at Nassau Coliseum on September 12, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 8-5. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Dougie Hamilton love-in continued on Thursday when CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty caught up with Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Julien told Haggerty he took in a few of Hamilton’s OHL Niagara games on a recent scouting trip, and was blown away at the young defenseman’s game.

“Dougie is such a big player and he’s gotten so much stronger. He was just outstanding,” Julien said. “It was impressive to see him. I’d say he has a great chance to stick [in the NHL].”

Hamilton, taken ninth overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was called “the best defenseman outside the NHL,” by ISS director of amateur scouting Dennis MacInnis back in May.

Since then, the 19-year-old starred in the Canadia-Russia Challenge tournament and got off to a torrid start to the OHL season, racking up seven points in eight games with a plus-8 rating.

No wonder Julien’s excited about having Hamilton in a Bruins uniform.

“What I saw told me that he deserves the opportunity,” Julien explained. “I’d lean more toward him having a great chance [to crack the Bruins lineup] than not.”