21 years ago today, Dougie Hamilton entered the world. Born in Toronto, Canada, Hamilton always dreamed about playing in the NHL. Like so many of the hockey greats who came from Canada, hockey was a way of life for Hamilton.
At the age of 17, Hamilton was playing for the Niagara Ice Dogs in the Ontario Hockey League, which is one of the most competitive leagues in Canada. His success in the OHL paved the way to his first-round draft selection back in 2011, where he was selected No. 9 overall by the Boston Bruins.
With 10 defensemen currently staffed on the Bruins roster, several D-men will find themselves battling for the remaining spots in the lineup. Only six defensemen suit up for each game, leaving a few players watching the game in suits above the rink. Even with Dennis Seidenberg returning from his season-ending ACL and MCL surgeries, Hamilton has solidified his spot on the Bruins roster.
Bruins HC Claude Julien has had nothing but praise for the young defenseman. Pairing him with captain Zdeno Chara, Julien has a lot of trust in Hamilton, who even spent time on the power play as a rookie.
His 6-foot-5, 212-pound stature makes Hamilton a presence on the ice. While he is reluctant to mess with opposing bruisers, Hamilton is not afraid to toss his weigh around. Although he frequently wears a smile from ear to ear, I promise you, Hamilton is as tough as they come. When playing alongside Chara, they combine for one of the league’s best defensive tandems, and we can expect Hamilton to only improve.
With a howitzer of a shot and a quick release, Hamilton can bury the puck, but his vision is what makes him so talented. Whether it is a slap pass headed back post or a breakout pass to a winger, Hamilton always hits his teammates right on the tape. Although his six-foot long stick may appear cumbersome, he smoothly maneuvers it like a magic wand, poke checking and deflecting pucks from the opposition.
Hamilton is one of the brightest young stars in the league, and if the B’s continue to develop him like they have been, he could be a key contributor to the squad for years to come.