Winter 2009: NR
Summer 2010: #15
Winter 2010: #6
Since Halloween night, Curtis Hamilton has been on another level. In 11 WHL games, Hamilton has delivered 9-11-20 +16 for the Saskatoon Blades. He’s in a tie for 8th in WHL points, leads the league in plus minus, and is in the top 10 in many other categories. The biggest item? He’s healthy.
There were a lot of holes in the scouting resume with Hamilton, mostly because of injuries.
- Bruins Draft Watch: “Curtis Hamilton of the Saskatoon Blades suffered a nightmare, injury-plagued season with two collarbone breaks, the second of which ended his season just after the new year. Considered a wide-bodied winger with solid skills (OK skater, good shot, has a nose for the net) if not a high-end package of hockey tools, Hamilton is one of those guys who will drop because he simply didn’t play enough in his draft season, but could end up being much better than a lot of the players who will be picked before him. If he’s there early in the fourth round when Boston’s pick (via Carolina in the Aaron Ward trade) comes around he’d be hard to pass up, because he fits the mold of what the B’s are trying to do in terms of adding size, skill and scoring to the wings. He scored 20 goals in 58 games in 08-09, but only seven tallies in 26 contests this year, so Hamilton does not come without risk, and is why he will fall on draft day.”
- International Scouting Services: “Well rounded player who can provide offense and raise the intensity level when needed. Hamilton has a very good technical package and understands the game very well. A strong and aggressive forechecker who can really fire the puck, Hamilton struggled with some bad luck and injuries this year which really affected his production. Hamilton is honest and hard working with the ability to play in all situations and against all types of players. He is hard on the puck and rarely backs down from battles for pucks or space and isn’t afraid to hold his ground after the whistle. Hamilton is very good at drawing defenders and then getting the puck to the net and then driving hard to the net on his own for rebounds or to create space for his teammates.”
- Central Scouting: “He has very good upside with all the tools. He’s not an aggressive player by penalty minutes, but he finishes his checks in all areas and is very effective. Good size and skates very well, also. He’s strong on both the penalty kill and the power play. You see him and just like what he brings to the table.”
- Mike Remmerde, Redline report: “If they still had the opt-in rule, his agent might tell him to wait until next year. Two broken collarbones adds some uncertainty. I was hoping he’d answer the questions this year I had about his somewhat soft style of play, but that didn’t really happen this year. Has good hockey sense and some hands, but I can’t decide if this guy could be a steal outside of the top 100 picks or too much of a risk. I think I’d just let some team with extra 3rd/4th round picks grab him.”
Hamilton was at best projected as a very late second round selection. Bob McKenzie had him #57, ISS had him #60 and Redline had him #121 because of the injuries. Post draft, Stu MacGregor told us why they took him:
- Stu MacGregor: “An extremely smart player, a great two way player. Strong, has good size, works hard along the boards. Very strong on the puck, has good vision, very good penalty killer. A guy who plays hard and smart.
I think he’s a modern Ross Lonsberry. Enough skill to play with the good players, tough enough to work in the tough areas and willing to do the things required to have success. Plus he’s big enough to be a load, and unlike the Coke machine drafts he can actually play. If he can stay healthy and continue to develop, he will be a very valuable player.
Hamilton is scoring points at EVs, PP and PK:
- Overall: 25gp, 15-21-36 (1.44) +27
- PP: 25gp, 4-5-9 (.360)
- EV: 25gp, 9-12-21 (.840)
- PK: 25gp, 0-3-3 (.120)
6.03, 200 and he can score goals. A quality prospect. Hamilton has been invited to the World Junior camp and there’s a good chance he’ll make the team. Plus his plus minus leads the dub and he’s posted good scoring numbers when injuries struck his line. A very nice resume.
I\ve placed two prospects (Marincin and Hamilton) much higher than normal in this year’s top 20. There are two reasons: their numbers are exceptional even in a season where they’re supposed to dominate, and they both display a wide range of skills. There’s a risk placing him this high, but I think the Oilers may have gotten a break with this player in that he was injured at exactly the worst time for his draft number:
- 07-08 (15) 68gp, 14-13-27 (.397)
- 08-09 (16) 58gp, 20-28-48 (.828)
- 09-10 (17) 26gp, 7-9-16 (.615)
- 10-11 (18) 25gp, 15-21-36 (1.44)
Finally, Hamilton is a December baby. I believe that means he could turn pro next fall (ala Theo Peckham).