Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Steal of the Draft: Why Boston Will Love Dougie Hamilton

Highway robbery.  Robbery, I say!
In the first round of last week's entry draft, there were several puzzling picks that included, among others, Adam Larsson falling to fourth overall to New Jersey, Mika Zibanejad jumping to sixth overall to Ottawa, and Mark Scheifele jumping to seventh overall to Winnipeg.  These last two picks, in particular, allowed prized defensive prospect Dougie Hamilton to fall the Boston Bruins at ninth overall.  As many know, this pick was gifted to the Bruins by Toronto GM Brian Burke in one of the worst trades in the last 25 years two seasons ago.  This treade sent the Maple Leafs' first and second rounders last year (Tyler Seguin and Jared Knight) and this first-rounder to Boston for Phil Kessel.  So, in other words, the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins are only getting younger and better.
Although Pierre McGuire felt it necessary to call pretty much every pick after fifth overall a steal, in my eyes there is one that stands above the others, and that is young Mr. Hamilton.  I think that he is the best value in the draft in terms of where he was selected compared to his NHL upside.  Dougie was ranked in the top five overall skaters at one point and was ranked number four for North American skaters on draft day for a reason.  To me, in a league where young defensemen are prized above almost all else, the fact that he dropped to ninth overall is ridiculous, especially because he is perfect for the Bruins.
For one, Hamilton is a gifted offensive defenseman (he had 58 points in 67 games this year in the OHL) who will remind Bruins fans of one Robert Orr.  No, he's not the next #4, but he will bring back memories of him with his moves and his speed and will create offense off the back end possibly as soon as next year.
Second, he's huge.  Dougie is 6-5, 195, and will only get heavier and stronger as he begins to work out with pros more often and he grows into his body.  Put simply, he's a beast, and though he's not as big as Zdeno Chara, they will be a great pair for many years to come as other Bruins' defensemen get older.
Lastly, and possibly mostly, Hamilton is a wrecking ball.  He uses his size very well and loves to hit people and play physical, as evidenced by his 77 penalty minutes last year in Juniors.  From watching video on him, it seems as though flooring people is what he does best, and though that may catch him out of position at times early, he will definitely adapt well.  He's also not exactly afraid to get into after the whistle.  You want a big, bad Bruin?  Look no further. Oh, and I'll say this one more time: Boston stole him.

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