The Bruins know all about injuries, and how they affect a team’s chances to take home the ultimate prize. One of the best things they learned this past post-season is that no matter what the age of the player, they’re still capable of performing at a high level. At one point during the playoffs, the B’s roster had to have three rookie-defensemen skate onto the ice, which left Bruin fans wondering how this would play out. As we all know now Torey Krug led the way for all the rookies who made their playoff debut, but the others didn’t fare to bad either. Dougie Hamilton was also one of the three rookies, and while he didn’t impress like Krug did, I would like to take a closer as to what Bruin fans should expect from Hamilton moving forward.
Dougie Hamilton has always been a man of mystery in my opinion, simply because fans never know what to expect from. One minute he is a monster on ice, the next minute he is making bonehead plays that leave fans scratching their heads. There is definitely no question that Hamilton has tremendous talent, and could be a huge contributor for the B’s. The question that most B’s fans want to have answered is when will this upside start taking place on a regular basis? On December 8, 2011 Hamilton signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Bruins. It wasn’t until January 19th, 2013 that Hamilton would actually step onto the ice in a Bruins uniform (the game was against the New York Rangers). It only took him three games for Hamilton to get his first NHL point, which was an assist in an overtime win, which was ironically against the Rangers in the MSG. Dougie would go on to score his first NHL goal in dramatic fashion, as he sneaked one past Buffalo Sabers net-minder Ryan Miller.
Andrew Ferrence was forced to serve a one-game suspension for his illegal hit on Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski during the playoffs this past season. With injuries piling up left and right, the B’s didn’t have many options which lead to Hamilton making his official playoff debut. The grueling style of play, while also adding the tremendous amount of pressure that playoff hockey brings seemed to be a bit too much for the rook, as he seemed to skate very timid like. In his defense, Hamilton did play a total of seven playoff games, and tailed three assists in the process. Eventually, Hamilton was replaced in the line-up, which is nothing to be ashamed of; he just wasn’t fully prepared for this style of play just yet. Hamilton finished out his first season for the Bruins playing a total of 42 games, where he would score five goals, eleven assists which isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Overall, Hamilton is a beautiful skater, and looks to be a player the Bruins can come to depend upon in the near future. What Bruin fans should expect to see out of Hamilton this season is simple: expect to see some stellar defensive play, while he also could dish out an assist every once in a while. Hamilton can see the ice very well, and at times he closes in on defenders tremendously. Where the breakdowns come to play is with his passing (much the same with Krug at times), he does have trouble with just making the simple pass, as he tries to force things at times. Hamilton can be a physical type player at times, but to be labeled like the other Boston bruisers, he will have to become a bit more physical throughout the season. The best part about Hamilton is that he is young, and has plenty of time to develop into an all-star caliber player. There is no question that the Bruins front office has an amazing amount of faith in Hamilton, and expect him to be good Bruins player for quite some time. Pre-Season Expected Numbers:
Overall (+/- ) : (-1)
Overall Grade: B (-)