*(Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the New England Hockey Journal)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Strome: Two guys from Niagara you should know

The latest edition of my "Guy you should know" series is a two-fer from the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs.

Huge and skilled but raw defenseman Dougie Hamilton you already know a bit about if you read my OHL preseason watch list. He was No. 7 there and if you don't remember it, here's the link for a quick refresher.

However, center Ryan Strome is a player who has come out of nowhere early this season to capture the attention of NHL scouts with his size, skill level and productive play-- he briefly led the league in scoring with nine points in five games (actually tied with Ryan Murphy at the time)until a pair of Sarnia Sting players in Nail Yakupov (Oct. '93 birthdate- not eligible until 2012) and Tyler Peters (overager) eclipsed him with 10 points to move to the top of the scoring list.

Strome has nice size, is a good skater and is emerging as yet another potential high-end prospect to come out of the OHL this season. One of my sources has seen him and had this to say about Strome last night:

"He's legit; nice size, nice skills and is really playing well right now," he said when asked if the early production might be a fluke, given that he only produced 14 points in 34 games last year with Barrie. "I'd say that right now, he looks like a solid early second-rounder, but if he keeps it up, then he'll move up into the first, somewhere in the early twenties, I would think."

Hamilton, already well established on the radars of most NHL scouts working the OHL beat, appears to have taken his development and overall game to the next level and is clearly trending upward as that "complete package" of size, mobility and offensive upside. Watch him this season: he's got one goal and three points in the early going, and at 6-4, 193 pounds, has that natural size that every team covets.

"This is a guy who already looks like a solid No. 2 for the NHL and it's still early," the scout said. "He's got a very nice upside and I think is only starting to show what he's capable of."

So, there you have it-- Hamilton and Strome. Two players on the same team, but who are just a pair of latest examples of how strong a league the OHL is in terms of being a pipeline of talent to the NHL.


  1. Totally agree about Strome. Love the way he plays. But, as for Hamilton, i was high on him after last season. Right up there almost with Ryan Murphy. But after a couple of games this year, and seeing some of the others, i dropped him a bit. Time and time again i've watched him and he can't hit a player in stride with a pass. Maybe it's just me, but three guys i look at before Hamilton are Ryan Murphy, Scott Harrington and Steven Strong.

    IMO, Harrington will be better defensively and both Murphy and Strong will have better offensive output than Hamilton.

  2. Good input, Dom. As we all know, scouting is not an exact science, and opinions will vary. This one source happens to be very high on Hamilton, so that's all I can do for now.

  3. You are right Kirk. I guess what i mean Dougie is still a top d-man in this league and will be a top pick. While he does a lot of things well, and has improved over last season on a lot of things, he really needs to work on his passing IMO. It's one fault in his game that really stands out. But hey, its not even half dozen games in.

  4. I would not say that Strome came from nowhere he was a highly touted prospect coming into the OHL and got drafted to a loaded Barrie team where he saw minimal playing time. Then he got traded to a struggling Niagara team with a less then average offense. Put those two facts together along with being a 16 year old and that explains the lackluster numbers he produced last year. Clearly he matured physically over the summer and is now the top centre in Niagara with more offensive tools to compliment his game hence his great start to the season, after tonight he will have 16 points in 8 games. He will easily be a first rounder.

  5. I believe Hamilton is going is the better dman between him and Murphy. I think Murphy has assets that you cant teach, however his size kills him as a defensemen especially at the NHL level. I don't see Hamilton playing in the show next year just because I think he is still a bit raw and needs one more year in juniors to develop more, but he should be a top 20 pick in June