The fifth game of the season marked the date when players who were eligible to return to juniors either had to go back or remain with their NHL club. For the Boston Bruins, that decision was an extremely easy one.
The front office announced on Monday that rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton would be remaining with the team and would not be going back to the OHL to join the Niagara Sea Dogs. That announcement came to the surprise of no one, given the potential and the play of Hamilton so far.
Coming into this season, Hamilton was already a player to watch. The Bruins very likely brought him to Boston with every intention of keeping him around. After finishing with 72 points and a plus-37 in 49 games in the OHL last year, there likely wasn’t much more he could achieve down there.
So far, Hamilton has lived up to the hype with the Bruins. He has four assists in five games and his defense has been every bit as good as advertised. He really is the total package.
First is his two-way game. It’s, by all accounts, top notch. He’s very strong defensively, and is very capable of leading an offensive rush in a very effective fashion. He has the potential to be an absolute killer in transition. He’s not the type of guy you have to worry about at all at one end or the other.
Then you have his size. He’s massive on the blue line, standing 6’5″. That size comes with a brutal physical game. He is quite thin, weighing in at just under 200 pounds, but it should only be a matter of time before he packs some more muscle onto that frame and become even more solid.
It’s only five games into his NHL career, but Dougie Hamilton is the real deal. He’s a franchise-type defenseman who could have at least one Norris Trophy in his future. He’s extremely talented offensively, strong defensively, and packs a physical punch as well. He’s going to be a nightmare for opposing forwards to match up against for quite some time.