One of the most interesting prospects at the top of the draft is Dougie Hamilton. Why? He keeps impressing people. At the recent NHL combine, Hamilton placed in the top ten in 10 of the 25 tests. Hamilton’s most impressive performance likely came during VO2 Max test duration, when he lasted 13 minutes to finish just behind the 14 minutes of David Musil of the Vancouver Giants (WHL) and Adam Larsson from Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League.
Hamilton continued to do well on the bike tests during the Wingate test, finishing fourth in Mean Power Output, averaging 11.1 watts/kg generated during the gruelling 30 second bike test.
ISS likes him plenty, saying he’s a strong defender, very mobile and explosive for his size. Good coverage and he is big and can intimidate.
- NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards: “He moves the puck well and makes good outlet passes, he does make good decisions with the puck, moves it very well out of his zone. He’s a big guy, he’ll take the body. … He uses his size well. He can muscle people off the puck.”
- Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson: “Especially at this level, you find guys that are awkward or don’t have a lot of explosion. You’re 6-foot-4, you don’t have a lot of explosion (but) the jump off his skates is phenomenal. When he sees those opportunities to jump into the rush or lead the rush, I really believe it’s untapped what he can do. He’s a very special defenseman in our league. He just has to understand the details and he’s going to be a very good pro . . . Dougie gets himself very prepared for hockey games. He’s very diligent preparing himself. He goes about it very business-like. He’s mature beyond his years.”
- More Williamson: “We thought our team was built for next year but our two young guys (Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Strome) have had phenomenal seasons. It’s amazing what Dougie does for us: he quarterbacks the PP, he kills penalties and plays against top lines, his icetime is always up there.”
If the Edmonton Oilers can figure out a way to draft a potential #1 C and a top pairing defender–say RNH and Dougie Hamilton–at the top of the draft, I think Oiler fans should consider that an outstanding development.
Kirk Luedeke: Hamilton is a very good skater for a defenseman of his size, exhibiting some real jump and smooth acceleration, top speed, and excellent lateral agility and footwork. His wheels allow him to jump into the play, and he’s a self-described “sneaky offensive player” who scored several of his goals by shooting down into the slot and losing his man in time to rip the puck into the back of the net. With his size and mobility, he can play a shutdown role, but he has a big point shot, so he has power play duty in the NHL as a realistic option. He’s a right-shooter, so on a team with a big lefty, Hamilton could be even more valuable.
Based on his size, resume and the league he played in this season, I think Hamilton could go in the top 5.