The junior-level Ontario Hockey League’s championships are about to begin and two Boston Bruins prospects will face off against one another for the J. Ross Robertson Cup. The Niagara IceDogs, including defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and the London Knights, including right-wing Jared Knight, will begin their series on May 3.
This is the IceDogs’ first trip to the championships in franchise history. They defeated the Ottawa 67s in five games to earn the Bobby Orr Trophy and a trip to the big games. In their series against the 67s, Hamilton had two goals and six assists. In the playoffs so far, he has four goals and 15 assists–ninth among all players and second among blueliners.
Also during their series against the 67s, Niagara goalie Mark Visentin scored a goal while the 67s had their goalie pulled and were actually on the power play. You can see Hamilton there with his goalie when they celebrate:
Hamilton recently won the OHL’s Max Kaminsky Trophy, awarded to the league’s best defenseman. He scored 72 points in 50 games, had the league’s third best plus-minus rating (+37) and tied for third in terms of assists (55, including 30 on the power play). Hamilton won the Kaminsky voting by a landslide with 80 points out of a possible 95. This caps off a season in which he was named the OHL Defenseman of the Month four times and won the bronze as part of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. With this win he will also become the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League’s defenseman of the year alongside nominees from the Western and Quebec junior leagues.
There is a distinct possibility that Hamilton could come up and try to get one of the Bruins’ defense positions next season. With numbers like that, he could be a very welcome addition.
On the other side of the matchup are Knight and the Knights. Their trip to the championship involved two sweeps–of the Windsor Spitfires in the first round and the Kitchener Rangers in the conference final–and a six-game semifinal series against the Saginaw Spirit. In the series so far, Knight has four goals and three assists. He was sidelined by an ankle injury that kept him out for three games during the Windsor round, but returned in time for the Saginaw round. During the regular season, he had 26 goals and 26 assists, finishing fifth among his team in scoring, and recorded his 100th goal in March. He’s also good at scoring on the breakaway too, a skill Boston could use more of.
Hamilton was drafted by Boston in 2011 and Knight in 2010.
Stay tuned for more updates on Hamilton, Knight and their teams in this championship series!