How big a role will Dougie Hamilton play in Boston?
Back in May, Brough profiled a Toronto Star piece on OHL Niagara defensemen and Bruins prospect Dougie Hamilton.
Selected ninth overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Hamilton -- who goes 6-foot-5, 193 pounds -- took the OHL by storm last year, racking up 72 points in 50 games during the regular season en route to winning the league’s most outstanding defenseman.
“I think Dougie Hamilton is the best defenseman outside the NHL,” Dennis MacInnis, director of amateur scouting for International Scouting Service, told the Star. “He’s got a terrific future in Boston. Can you imagine him and Zdeno Chara on the point on the Bruins power play?”
That question will likely be answered this season, as Hamilton plans on making the leap from junior to the NHL.
“My goal to make the Bruins,” Hamilton told ESPN at Boston’s development camp. “I want to get better every day and try to give myself the best opportunity to do that.”
The word out of prospects camp was that, barring an epic meltdown or major injury, Hamilton will be a Bruin this season. WEEI.com reports the sticking point will be his weight -- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Hamilton’s added around 11 pounds to get to “around” 205 -- and that his goal weight might be the 210 pounds Florida rookie Erik Gudbranson played at last year (Gudbranson’s also 6-foot-5.)
Bulk may be an issue, but the real question is how big a role Hamilton can play. Given his offensive skill set and ability to produce on the power play, there seems to be a legit opportunity for a top-four role -- especially with Joe Corvo, third among blueliners in PP time last year, having signed in Carolina.
It’s something Chiarelli wasn’t ready to predict just yet...but also something he couldn’t ignore, either.
“[Hamilton’s] on a real good progression line, development line. He’s a real good player, a real good prospect. I’m excited that we have him in our group,” Chiarelli told the Providence Journal. “I don’t want to hand anyone a job at this point in July, but based on what I’ve seen this year and in this camp, I think he’s going to be a top challenger for a spot.”