Curtis Hamilton has the reputation of being a ‘two way winger’ with enough skill to play with the gifted kids and enough savvy to kill penalties effectively. His 11-12 season in OKC didn’t feature much of either.
OKC RE12-13: 66, 12-14-26
- That’s quite a step down from last year’s RE. I thought Hamilton would have a fairly smooth transition, that clearly wasn’t the case.
- Do you still like him as a prospect? Sure, Hamilton’s resume is a nice fit for what the Oilers will need in the future. Stu MacGregor on draft day: “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.”
- You don’t have him on your top 20! True, Hamilton is off the top 20. However, that’s a very good list and if he can establish himself at the pro level he’ll be back.
- What do you like about his resume? Hamilton isn’t an elite talent in any area, but he has the potential to be a complementary winger on a 2nd scoring line or a member of a checking line. He also has a strong rep as a PK option.
- When did he score a year ago? In 41 games, Hamilton went 5-6-11 , 4-3-7 at even strength and 1-3-4 on the PP.
- What did Todd Nelson say about him? Nelson: “Curtis is a very intelligent player. Big body, he’s getting more comfortable on the walls, winning battles. We’ve been using him on the penalty kill.”
- Sounds positive! Well, I’m not one to promote expertise in regard to parsing language, but it would seem to me that the things the coach is talking about there are the items he was concerned with in regard to the player. It sounds to me like winning battles and doing the dirty work were issues early.
- Isn’t that typical? I’m sure it is. The AHL is a man’s league, Hamilton would have been going into the corner with men his size or bigger and ten years more mature. That’s a lot to give up in terms of maturity and strength.
- And besides, Nelson doesn’t say nice things. One of the great things about Nelson is that he doesn’t gloss or dillydally. Ask him a question, you get an answer. An example, here’s what he said when asked about Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick: “Pitlick’s the more dynamic of the two. He has a flashy skating stride, a hard shot, plays both centre and wing.”
- I think you’re glossing over some things to, like injury. You bet, Hamilton was injured at a tough time for him. Early in the season both were finding their way. OKC Barons PBP man Jim Byers told me in mid-November that Hamilton had been in and out of the lineup at times and was “waiting his turn” with few special teams options. Byers said Hamilton was “feeling his way” into the lineup through mid-November. Pitlick would go on and recover much of his season during the time Hamilton was hurt. There is some urgency.
- Why? WHY? Have you SEEN the prospect list! Look, Curtis Hamilton has some nice things and is a personal favorite of mine because he’s kind of a throwback player. The Habs used to grab these guys: 2-way player, good offense, can PK and has good size. But there is some urgency here. He needs to have a strong second season in all areas, and remain healthy.
- Who is in front of him? At LW there is Hall, Yakupov (see Krueger), Smyth, Eager and Hordichuk at the NHL level. AHL LW’s might be Hartikainen and or Paajarvi, Cornet, Dane Byers, Antti Tryrvainen. I don’t know where Hamilton fits there, and of course if there’s a lockout Hamilton might find himself in Stockton.
- You’re being very negative about this player. Hamilton should be able to win an AHL job this fall if healthy. However, he’ll be midway through his entry level deal in the new year and the Oilers will want to see some positives.
- Who is behind him currently that could catch and pass him this season? Aside from Yakupov (and that’s unfair the guy is a #1 overall selection) I’d say that the only legit prospect beginning the OKC season clearly behind Hamilton is Kristians Pelss.
- Who is Hamilton behind who he could catch? Oh my, it’s a long list. At the AHL level, we should be talking about Hamilton passing Tyrvainen, Byers and Cornet this season. He should be getting top 2line mintues, something I do believe Tyler Pitlick will get this season (at times).