Even though there is still a week left in the NHL Preseason, Dougie Hamilton appears to be be the Bruins defenseman that is going to be left off of the active roster. So far Torey Krug has picked up right where he left off in last year's playoffs. Matt Bartkowski, who wouldn't even be in Boston if Jarome Iginla had accepted the B's trade offer last year, is proving that he was more than just a throw away accessory. All of this brings us back to Hamilton, who still has plenty of time to become the player everyone hopes he can be.
When Dougie Hamilton was drafted in the first round back in 2011, many Bruins fans believed him to be the heir apparent to Zdeno Chara. At just 18, Hamilton's already six foot five frame and tantalizing offensive potential created unrealistic expectations.
At first, his weight did leave a little bit to be desired. He came into the pro's at roughly 195 pound and has put on around five pounds of muscle since. Still, Hamilton's play in a lockout shortened season, saw him get knocked off the puck in the corners, and occasionally lost in the defensive zone.
His competition (Krug and Bartkowski) are older and have more experience. Bartkowski spent two years at Ohio State and roughly four years in the AHL. Krug similarly spent three years at Michigan State, and one and season in Providence.
Hamilton meanwhile came to the Bruins straight from the OHL, without having spent ay time down in the minors. The Toronto native has the most potential of the three young Bruins blue liners, but right now his all-around game just isn't quite on par with the other two.
Like Krug, Hamilton posses a natural offense awareness and skills that are rare for almost any defensemen, let alone 20 year-old kids, but right now that is the most tangible asset he provides to the Bruins.
So many teens (Sydney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Drew Doughty) have made a dramatic impact on an NHL roster that they have created unrealistic expectations. Just because a top ten pick can't make the roster in his second year doesn't mean that it's the end of their career.
The bottom line is that Hamilton hasn't had enough experience yet, and it shows itself ever so slightly. The only question is, why should that matter?
Thanks to management, coaching, and a little luck (the failed trade for Iginla), the Bruins now have 7 defenseman they feel that they can count on. What if Hamilton really wasn't ready, but was forced to play any way. Or worse, had a maturity problem akin to that of Tyler Seguin.
The Bruins are deep on the back end. Eventually injuries, bad stretches of play, or both are going to give Hamilton another chance to prove himself. In a sense it's the perfect situation. Hamilton will see his fair share of action, and won't be held back if he succeeds.
If Hamilton does struggle, just remember, it isn't the end of the world. The B's have a veteran top four, two other young talents, and plenty of time to make sure their investment reaches his potential.
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/114k