NHL Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Help Dougie Hamilton Feel Welcome

Dougie Hamilton (#53, left of center) wears the Bruins colors for the first time. In the foreground is Chris Bourque, another newcomer. Photo by cerebusfangirl on Flickr, used with Creative Commons permission.

The Boston Bruins are helping Dougie Hamilton get acclimated to his new playing city. The young offensive defenseman extraordinaire, who won the OHL‘s version of the Norris Trophy in 2012 and whose rise to the Bruins lineup was stymied only by the lockout, has been training with the Black and Gold all week, plus he participated in the scrimmage against the Providence Bruins earlier this week.

He’s been paired with Dennis Seidenberg, a veteran NHLer who can help the young guy learn the ropes, although it’s been said that that d-pairing might change. However, Seidenberg speaks highly of him, thinking of him as a young Zdeno Chara not just because of his stature but also because he covers a lot of ice.

In the field of off-ice bonding, Hamilton also recently took in a Boston Celtics basketball game at TD Garden with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. As DJ Bean explained it on Twitter, Seguin had floor seats for himself and for Marchand, so he decided to bring Hamilton along for a nice night at the Garden. He was motivated to do this by his own experiences as a wee greenhorn and how Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron were helpful to him.

Speaking of Bergeron, head coach Claude Julien compared Hamilton to a younger Bergeron in terms of personality. He said it would be a bit too difficult to compare Hamilton and Seguin’s personalities, but that Seguin’s linemate fit the bill.

In terms of achievements, Seguin and Hamilton are similar, though. Both of them won awards in the OHL–the aforementioned Max Kaminsky Trophy for Hamilton, the Eddie Powers Trophy for Seguin in recognition of his scoring ability–and both were taken very high in their respective draft years thanks to the effects of that excellent Phil Kessel trade.

But let’s compare Hamilton and Bergeron now. Back in the day, Bergeron jumped right from playing junior in the QMJHL to being in the big show, just as Hamilton is now graduating directly from junior. His forward motion was stymied a year later by the 2004-05 lockout, so he played in the AHL, which is an option that wasn’t really open to Hamilton. But once the doors were open again, Bergeron continued to work hard and grow with Boston, the only team he has ever played for during his career.

Also, Hamilton and Bergeron have both represented Canada at the World Junior Championship, though Bergeron won gold in 2005 and Hamilton settled for bronze in 2012.

Of course, Hamilton is a defenseman–though good on offense, as his 72-point Kaminsky Trophy season will show–while Seguin and Bergeron are both forwards, but it is interesting to see the comparisons. Saturday will be Hamilton’s first game-day test of his abilities. Here’s hoping he will be a big, positive change over Joe Corvo.