The Flames organization made one of its most significant trades in the last decade when they acquired Dougie Hamilton at the draft this weekend. The 22-year old defender is already one of the best defenders in the game and figures to help anchor Calgary’s blueline with TJ Brodie as the club emerges from rebuilder into contender.
I began digging around in Hamilton’s background and numbers. Here’s a few things worth knowing about the newest Flame.
1.) Hamilton was drafted by the Boston Bruins, but the pick was originally the Toronto Maple Leafs’. Brian Burke dealt two first rounders to the Boston in a package for Phil Kessel. The other first rounder was the pick that turned into Tyler Seguin. Ironically, Burke is now part of the Flames front office.
2.) At 9th overall, Hamilton was the 2nd defender taken in the 2011 entry draft behind Adam Larsson, who went to the Devils. New Jersey is probably regretting that decision at this point.
3.) Hamilton exploded for 17 goals and 72 points in just 50 games in his draft+1 season. That’s a point-per-game pace of 1.44 and an NHL equivalency of 35.4. To put those numbers into perspective, they are better offensive results than either Emile Poirer (1.38 PPG) and Morgan Klimchuk (1.29 PPG) managed in their draft +1 seasons. And they are former first rounder forwards.
4.) At 19 years old, Hamilton appeared in 32 games for the Niagra IceDogs before being called up to the NHL. He nevertheless led the team’s blueline in scoring with 41 points.
5.) Although he only recently turned 22 years old, Hamilton has already played in 178 NHL regular season games. His offense has increased each season, from 16 to 25 to 42 points last year.
6.) Since 2005, Hamilton is one of only 25 NHL defenders to score more than 40 points and play more than 20 minutes in a season under the age of 22. The list contains mostly stars and superstars, including Jay Boumwmeester, Drew Doughty, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Weber and Erik Karlsson. The only dubious name of the 25 is Cam Barker.
7.) With 188 shots on net last year, Hamilton finished the 15th in the league in terms of getting rubber at the goalie. That’s a rate of 2.6 shot per game, which would have led the Flames blueline last year (Giordano was close at 1.57 shots/game).
8.) Hamilton averaged just over 21 minutes per night for Boston last year, good for third on the team behind Dennis Seidenberg (22:06) and Zdeno Chara (23:20).
9.) Despite being the youngest defender on the team, Hamilton led the Bruins blueline in relative possession rate (+4.72). He also faced the second toughest quality of competition behind only Chara.
10.) At 6’5″ and 215 pounds, Hamilton is now the biggest defender on the Flames blueline, though not in the Flames organization – that honour goes to 6’6″, 240 pound Keegan Kanzig. He is also just one of three natural right hand shots under contract at the pro level. The others are Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland.
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