June 17, 1993
Boston's 1st choice, 9th overall in 2011 Draft
Signing status: Unsigned
Excellent size, with long limbs and natural athleticism. Projected to play at 215-220 pounds at his physical peak. Very good skater with quick acceleration, top speed and four-way mobility. Strong backwards skater with the ability to crossover quickly. Good passer and puck mover with the ability to make the short, intermediate and long stretch passes. Big point shot-generates power and torque and keeps it low for deflections. Likes to shoot and drive should only become more powerful as he fills out and gets stronger. Underrated wrist shot with quick release and accuracy. Likes to sneak in from the back door to put the puck in the net. Active stick. Uses big body to box out forwards from in front of his net. Strong along the walls and in the corners, and will get better with the added mass and physical maturity. Not a big open-ice hitter, but understands body leverage and not afraid to initiate contact. Angles well and will only get better as he continues to develop. Gets into trouble when he stops moving his feet and overthinks it. Will fight if called upon, but not particularly adept at doing so (not his role), even if he understands the need to defend teammates.
Above average hockey sense, but still figuring out the defense position. Good worker and attitude. Bright, intelligent and comes from excellent athletic stock. Hamilton's developmental curve has been nearly vertical since last summer, when he helped lead Team Canada to gold at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August, 2010. Although some question his natural feel and instincts for the game, others are confident Hamilton will develop into an accomplished two-way presence. He's shown the potential to reach an impressive ceiling in the NHL one day, but there is some risk with this player as well. Leadership potential, but not a rah-rah type and more of an unselfish leader by example, who is one of the guys and does his part to put the team first and do the little things needed to win.
2011 Boston Bruins Development Camp Assessment:
In similar fashion to Tyler Seguin a year ago, Hamilton came into camp with a lot of fanfare and didn't produce all that much during the scrimmages even if he did show off his impressive skills and talent. During the various drills and skating sessions, he showed off a fluid, powerful stride and the ability to make tight turns and change directions quickly. Not afraid to shoot the puck, he wasn't rewarded with goals, but showed the willingness to tee off when he had the chance. He also moved well laterally along the blue line, opening up shooting lanes with his mobility.
Development Camp video: Dougie Hamilton
Hamilton is not quite ready for primetime, but that's more in the context of Boston's established top-six defensemen and some of the prospects who have been in the system a little longer. The defending Stanley Cup champions have the luxury of taking their time with Hamilton; he's still light in his frame and will likely benefit from more playing time in the OHL with Niagara. He's a solid kid with tremendous genetics working in his favor, plus the discipline and work ethic to make something of himself as a pro. He is good enough to develop into a top-pairing defender with offensive upside and power play/penalty killing effectiveness. Even if Hamilton fails to reach his impressive ceiling, he should be at the very least a solid middle pair guy given his pure size and speed/skating ability. However, given that the B's took him ninth overall, much more is expected of him.
"Each day I thought he played better, was more comfortable. He walks the line so well, he’s got the poise, I thought he carried the puck a lot in today’s session with strength and confidence. just, he has the poise, the vision and his passing is good and he’s got size. So by the time he’s ready to play he’ll be two hundred-plus so to get a defenseman who’s tall, rangy, and can make those fine offensive plays and still have the range and the ability to play shutdown because I believe he will have that. Obviously it’s a great type of player to have."- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli , July 11, 2011
"If he can get to two-twenty that’d be great and he could. With his frame and he’s still growing. I think he’s still growing like from we had one posting measurement at some point towards the end of his season and he’s grown like a quarter of an inch or a half an inch since then so it’s got to be done properly and I’m sure he’ll do it. I know he’s conscientious about that. His parents are two former Olympic athletes. He’s got core strength too so like two-ten would be great."- Chiarelli; July 11
"I think it’s just been nice to get him into our camp and kind of start to fine-tune some of the things you see during the course of the season. And you know he can do a lot of these things. Where it goes will really be up to him. You know he wont know that until he gets on the power plays at the next levels, he knows he can do certain things at the junior level. And you know his physical stature helps him get away with some of that stuff. I would say at this point in time ,the decision-making is really what it will come down to as to where his impact will be. And you really, a lot of times don’t get that until you do go through these experiences and playing against guys that will expose you when you do run around."- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney, July 11, 2011
"I mean, that’s a good pairing. I mean, first of all, it’s a rather large pairing, you know and Tommy’s [Cross] really filled out, obviously, he’s had some injury troubles so it’s good to see him, you know, on full speed, full capacity, no limitations to what he’s doing on the ice. And he’s got kind of a calming influence for Dougie [Hamilton]. You know, like I talked about yesterday, Dougie’s looking to get up ice. He’s comfortable on the power play, he’s looking to be physical. You know he’s going to be a well rounded, you know, well rounded player with a two way component. Where that fits in on the high side, one or the other we won’t worry about that today that’s for sure. We just continue to work with him and get him to understand and process the game, you know as speeds go up. "- Sweeney on Hamilton-Cross pairing; July 10, 2011
"At six-foot-four, [Hamilton] moves very well. Very well. And he’s got a good skill set with the puck, without it, we’re just trying to fine-tune some of the things defensively. You’re not going to see, from a camp like this, in terms of you know, we might do a little power play in the scrimmage-wise, or whatever the case may be, but you’re not going to see the guys do that. I mean the ice gets chopped up, it’s a little frantic, the guys haven’t played together. So anybody that comes in here is not going to see somebody wow you with you know, there will be some wow moments, but overall it won’t be that way. I think we want, first and foremost, Dougie as well as everybody else, to feel comfortable in being part of this organization. So he comes in, in September, and he does work between now and then that will put him in the best light to challenge and to continue to get better. He’s got a lot of upside, I don’t think anybody in our organization feels that he’s pigeonholed in any capacity, be it defensive d-man, offensive d-man. I think he’s just going to be a real good, solid two-way player and we’re excited to have him."- Sweeney on Hamilton; July 9, 2011
"I mean, a guy like [Dougie] Hamilton, for example. For a big guy, at 6’5”, [6’4”], he moves pretty well, he’s pretty fluid, you know, most guys who are eighteen years old are still growing into their body, they’re a little bit clumsy, but he’s got very smooth feet for a big man and gets around the ice very well. I haven’t seen him play, obviously, I don’t do the scouting, but I imagine that’s going to translate and that’s why he was the ninth pick, because of his skating and his, he looks like a heady player, he has a good stick. Again, he’s one guy for sure that I’ve noticed that looks good and again, you don’t know until September comes around, until he’s playing against men, but he sure looks like the real deal out there for the past forty-eight hours."- Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy; July 8, 2011