Dougie Hamilton, D Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
Born: June 17, 1993 in Toronto, Ontario
Strengths: Big, tall frame with long limbs; grew about two inches and added about 10 pounds of muscle last summer-- developing on an impressive physical curve, with another expected jump when he turns 18 in June. Very good skater with strong, power-generating stride and the ability to cover a lot of ground. Good footwork and directional change ability despite his size and high center of gravity. A right-shooting defenseman who generates very good power and torque on his shot. Unleashed a howitzer drive in the Top Prospects Game that eluded goaltender David Honzik and clanked in off the far post-- a testament to his potential as a power play triggerman at the highest level. Aggressive in the offensive zone; will jump on loose pucks and take them to the net; has become increasingly involved in the Niagara attack and is producing at nearly a point-per-game. Elevated his game in the playoffs, even though he struggled at times against Mississauga (as most every other player on Niagara did).Makes a pretty strong, crisp first pass and can help with the transition game. Good physical presence: will use his size to staple opponents to the boards. Not a huge open-ice hitter, but initiates contact and embraces the tighter-checking situations. Bright, intelligent kid who carries himself well and is a good teammate. Learns from his mistakes. Tremendous athletic bloodlines passed down from both father and mother; grew up in a disciplined house and already understands the commitment and dedication needed to be a top echelon athlete.
Weaknesses: Defense is a work in progress: switched from forward to defense at about 13-14 years of age, so is still figuring out the nuances. Some scouts question how instinctive he is in terms of reading and processing the game despite his academic brilliance. Prone to trying to do too much in his own end, can get to running around-- needs to keep things simple. Not much of a fighter; will drop the gloves if provoked, but technique is lacking and does not appear comfortable in that kind of setting, using size/strength to grapple as opposed to punching effectively.
Hamilton goal at Top Prospects Game Boom! (NHL Draft Video)
NHL.com video feature on Dougie Hamilton
Outstanding TVCogecoOntario feature on Hamilton by Amy Audibert
Interviews with Dougie Hamilton at the NHL Scouting Combine (B2011DW video)
Post testing interview
Style compares to: Jay Bouwmeester
Draft prediction: Hamilton was a player NHL scouts were keen on seeing progress this season after a strong performance at the 2010 Eight Nations (Ivan Hlinka) Cup where he helped Team Canada capture gold. However, nobody predicted Hamilton's explosion in points- setting a club record and beating a very good player (Alex Pietrangelo) in the process. With his size, mobility, skill and offensive potential, B2011DW feels that Hamilton will be a top-five pick, so him being #7 on this list isn't any kind of indictment. We just like six players a little better. However, because NHL clubs place a premium on the physical package of impressive tools, Hamilton is almost a lock to go higher than we have him.
Projection: Solid No. 2 potential and possible No. 1 if he continues to develop and gets a lot stronger. Has the fluidity and puck skills to be a point-getter at the highest level along with the size to play a shutdown role and be a dual-threat. There is a lot to like about Hamilton but not everyone is a fan. This kid will have to go out and prove it at the next level, but honestly- given all he's accomplished, is there any real reason to doubt him?
Background:Son of Doug and Lynn Hamilton, both Canadian Olympians and standouts in World Championship competition for their respective sports, neither of which was hockey (Doug in rowing, Lynn in basketball). Older brother and Niagara teammate Freddie was a fifth-round selection (129th overall) of the San Jose Sharks in 2010. Was a 2nd Team OHL All-Rookie and Ice Dogs Rookie of the Year in the '09-10 season. Also earned the OHL's recognition for top scholastic player (Ivan Tennant Award) with a 97 percent average at Governor Simcoe School in St. Catharines,Ontario where the Ice Dogs are based and captured the award again in '10-11. Scored 3 goals and 16 points as a rookie, and had 12 goals, 58 points in 67 games in his second OHL season in a dramatic jump in offensive production over just one year. Participated in the NHL's first Research and Development Camp held in Toronto back in August. Won a gold medal for Team Canada's Under-18 Team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia in August.
If Hamilton had his own soundtrack it would be: "Monster"- Skillet
And of course there's this obvious one we previously skipped on purpose, but what the hey- we'll post it here.
"Teach Me How To Dougie" - Cali Swag District
"Why is this guy not getting any mention as a possibility in the top 3 or 4 picks overall? I think he's a Tyler Myers or Alex Pietrangelo. I can't find anything about his game that will keep him from being a good top pairing d-man."- NHL scout to B2011DW; May 24, 2011
"He moves the puck well and makes good outlet passes, he does make good decisions with the puck, moves it very well out of his zone. He's a big guy, he'll take the body. … He uses his size well. He can muscle people off the puck."- Central Scouting's Chris Edwards to NHL.com
"Hamilton...I love that kid. He's a two-way beast. He'll nail you, play physically in the defensive end, he can take the puck and go end-to-end with it. He can quarterback the power play. I think he's actually better as the triggerman on the power play-- he's got a big shot. He's approaching Larsson's level. Larsson's been there a couple of years, whereas Hamilton's development curve is heading straight up. So, Hamilton, I'd be shocked if he made it out of the top-eight picks this year."- Kyle Woodlief, Chief Scout and Publisher, Red Line Report; December 2010
"Dougie's size and mobility are his best attributes. He's got a long reach as well, which makes it really difficult for opponents to get by him. I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised at the offense from him this season- I didn't see that coming based on last year. That said, is it going to translate to the NHL? That's a debate we've had and will continue to talk about, because it's going to play into how high he goes in the draft. Obviously, if you think he's going to put up numbers in the NHL, then you're looking at a top-five pick, easily. But, if not, then you've got some tougher decisions to make with him, I think."- NHL scout to Bruins 2011 Draft Watch; January 2011
Dougie Hamilton smart enough to know what sport works for him NHL.com feature by Adam Kimmelman