NHL

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rookie Hamilton having blast with Bruins

Time flying by for 19-year-old defenceman

  • Print

It's nasty outside -- even for March in Winnipeg -- and yet there was Dougie Hamilton, seemingly oblivious to it all, hustling around the MTS Iceplex Monday afternoon during a Boston Bruins' optional skate with a size-large grin on his mug.

And little wonder. After all, how many defencemen were living the National Hockey League dream at the tender age of 19?

"It's like a dream come true for me," began Hamilton. "We're pretty busy and it's gone by really quick so far... the games just start to kind of blur together after awhile. It's just a lot of fun and I think I've adjusted well. What can I say? I'm pretty happy."

Same goes for the Bruins, who are getting some solid play from their 2011 first-round draft pick in his rookie campaign. Hamilton is logging just over 17 minutes a game and with 12 points (three goals, nine assists), is second to Edmonton's Justin Schultz for points among NHL rookie defencemen while finding a place in a lineup that will once again contend for the Stanley Cup.

"He's been really good for us," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "He's a good, puck-moving defenceman who sees the ice well and does a lot of things. He has what every first-year player does: A little glitch here and there and those are things that are very fixable. We've worked with him really hard and he's got a great attitude. There's only upside for this guy."

Selected ninth overall in 2011 -- two picks after the Winnipeg Jets chose Mark Scheifele -- Hamilton comes from good stock. His older brother Freddie is a fifth-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks now playing with Worcester in the AHL, his father Doug is a former Canadian Olympic rower who won a bronze medal in 1984 and competed in 1988, while his mother Lynn was also an Olympian as a member of Canada's women's basketball team.

He arrived at the Bruins' condensed training camp after dominating with the Niagara Ice Dogs in the Ontario Hockey League during the lockout and suiting up for Canada at the world junior championship, but with little idea of where his immediate future might be.

"There wasn't much said. I had an idea I was going to camp and that was it," said Hamilton with a grin and a shrug. "I was just happy to get the opportunity and to be here right now instead of junior. I think I've learned so much already and I've gotten so much better at so many aspects to my game. That's what's exciting."

Head down with his nose to the daily grindstone, Hamilton admits he has had very few moments to soak all this in and enjoy the moment. Although, there has been the odd occasion.

"At the start with my first game and all those things," Hamilton said. "And when I was playing against some of my idols, like (Alex) Ovechkin and my first game against him in Washington. That was pretty cool. I grew up watching him, idolizing him and enjoying what he does on the ice. So, I tried not to watch him too much, but when you're sitting on the bench, it happens.

"There's no real time to relax and take it all in. But I kinda like that. I just go-go-go. I'm sure once I get to the summer I'll realize what's going on.

"I'm just trying to have fun. Hockey is fun. This is why you play. I'm trying to get better and enjoy myself at the same time. With this team, it's been a lot of fun winning and being around these guys."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2013 D7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Fringe, space motifs trendy for teens heading back to school

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose heads for shade in the sunshine Friday afternoon at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg - Day 26– June 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Bombers MVP so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google