Curtis Hamilton’s scouting report on draft day included all the Oiler buzzwords via 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 can’t really figure Curtis Hamilton out. He’s 21 years old now, ended his junior career with a slick boxcar number (62, 26-56-82) and things looked really good when he turned pro and headed for OKC. Since then, he’s been a 3 or 4line player and hasn’t forced the issue at any time. The AHL is a marathon audition and yet you don’t notice him (and I’m actually looking for him); most of this season when he’s impressed it has been on the PK. I don’t sense a confident player, he rarely engages physically and isn’t shooting enough to suggest there’s good luck on the way.
Summer 2012: not ranked
Winter 2012: #19
ISS60; Redline 121; Bob McKenzie57
- Bruins 2010 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.
- ISS: 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.
- 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.”
Lots of positives there, but the Remmerde comment about his “somewhat soft style of play” and his overall viewpoint of Hamilton appears to be the winning bet among the three pre-draft bio’s above.
- Hamilton tells C&B about his 2-way play: “It’s the way I’ve been taught in this league and I’ve been successful thus far, and I wasn’t drafted as a goal scoring guy – I think I had seven goals last year – but they knew I was a two-way guy and that’s why they picked me. I enjoy playing the two way game, I guess some guys don’t like it because they just like scoring goals, but I enjoy penalty killing, blocking shots and being counted on for the defensive side of the game too.”
- During the 2011-12 season, Hamilton started slowly (17, 1-5-6 +1) and didn’t do a lot from there (24, 4-1-5) for a total of 41, 5-6-11 +2. His injury derailed the year, and he did not have an opportunity to establish himself (as Tyler Pitlick did) over the course of the season.
- I think we all knew it was going to be a little tougher this year, with wingers like Hall, Eberle, Hartikainen and Paajarvi invading OKC. This season hasn’t done much for Hamilton, although he does seem to have a larger role on the PK. As with Tyler Pitlick, if the lockout doesn’t end we’re probably looking at a lost season for this player. Currently, he’s 18, 2-1-3 -6 with 4pims and 16 shots on goal.
#19 ranked prospects on December lists:
- December 2004: L Liam Reddox
- December 2005: D Danny Syvret
- December 2006: G Glenn Fisher
- December 2007: D Sebastian Bisaillon
- December 2008: L Phil Cornet
- December 2009: G Olivier Roy
- December 2010: D Jeremie Blain
- December 2011: D Kyle Bigos
- December 2012: L Curtis Hamilton
I’m not going to pretend to know more than I do, maybe Curtis Hamilton is doing fine and the organization is comfortable with his progess. Maybe the fact that he’s played 59 minor league games and has taken 6 minor penalties is his style, and maybe he plays a quiet, effective game. Maybe the Oilers and coach Nelson made the decision once Josh Green went down to put together two scoring lines and then try to have low event 3 and 4lines.
However, this looks a lot like Curtis Hamilton’s guilty of what Mike Remmerde suspected a couple of years ago. Hey Curtis Hamilton: this is your life! Come on down!