Oilers Sign Hamilton

The Edmonton Oilers signed Saskatoon Blade winger Curtis Hamilton to an entry level contract today. Details have not yet reached capgeek, but it’s likely similar to Tyler Pitlick’s deal.

Hamilton was drafted in the 2nd round in the 2010 entry draft, behind Pitlick and Martin Marincin. Not all draft sources had the three players in that order and it looks like Bob McKenzie’s conversations with various amateur scouts is proving to be a better predictor than the draft itself:

  • #31: Tyler Pitlick: ISS20; Redline30; Bob McKenzie25
  • #46: Martin Marincin ISS40; Redline 50; Bob McKenzie71
  • #48: Curtis Hamilton ISS60; Redline 121; Bob McKenzie57

Hamilton’s draft day scouting report read like an old Habs prospect back in the days of Sam Pollock and talent scout Claude Ruel: speed, an idea about checking and let’s hope he can score some goals:

  • 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.”
  • 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.”

Hamilton delivered an outstanding regular season (62gp, 26-56-82, +48 22pims) and also played for Canada at the WJ’s. After a disappointing playoff run with the Blades, Hamilton is now a pro hockey player (he’ll join OKC right away, Joanne Ireland has the story here).

Hamilton projects as a strong candidate for the Barons next season. The big club has Taylor Hall, Magnus Pääjärvi, Ryan Jones and JF Jacques at the big league level and Liam Reddox in the mix on both wings. When you factor in Teemu Hartikainen’s strong showing at the end of the regular season, it’s extremely likely Hamilton will spend at least a year in the minors.

With the season finished it’s interesting to see the progress of the Oilers 2010 entry draft class. It’s common for one or more players to fall off the pace by season’s end, hell we knew about Abney on draft day and Hesketh was lagging soonafter.

This 2010 group has a tremendous number of positive arrows. Taylor Hall enjoyed a solid NHL debut, and the 2nd rounders impressed in the WHL this season (Pitlick 56gp, 27-35-62; Marincin 67gp, 14-42-56; Hamilton 62gp, 26-56-82). Beyond that, Ryan Martindale enjoyed a fine season on one of junior hockey’s best scoring lines, Jeremie Blain impressed a lot of people once he got healthy in the Q, Tyler Bunz was strong in the regular season and epic in the playoffs. Brandon Davidson played well in Regina, Drew Czerwonka took a big step forward playing much of the season on a skill line and Kristians Pelss improved a lot in the second half of the season. Kellen Jones had a good season in Quinnipiac.

That’s a lot of progress in one season for a draft. Not all of these kids are going to turn out and it’s anyone’s guess as to how many will spend seasons in the NHL as regulars. However, there doesn’t appear to be a Troy Hesketh, no Cameron Abney, not a William Quist in sight.

As we look forward to the 2011 draft, it’ll be a good idea to pay attention to the list of kids who are invited to the NHL’s combine. Last season, 7 of the Oilers 11 selections attended the combine.

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