After the Boston Bruins 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night, there was a huge mass of media, some on step-ladders, all surrounding a defenseman from Ontario, trying to get a good look at one of the newest and the youngest members of the team. It is a sight Dougie Hamilton will certainly have to get used to.
Only 15 minutes prior to this media frenzy, the 17,500 people in attendance at the Garden were chanting Hamilton’s first name. The “Dougie” chants were followed by the arena blasting the ever-popular rap song, “Teach Me How To Dougie” to which Hamilton gracefully acknowledged by doing the “Dougie” dance, earning laughs on the bench from the young star’s teammates.
Quite simply put, Hamilton has quickly taken over as the fan-favorite in Boston.
As the second tallest player at 6’5 (only shorter than fellow defenseman Zdeno Chara), Hamilton is also starting to get used to his role as a blue liner for the big club in his first few starts as an NHL player.
Hamilton was drafted 9th overall in the 2011 draft by the Bruins and he played last season with his junior OHL team in Niagara. Hamilton was also the Canadian Major Junior Defenseman of the Year in the 2011-2012 season; a succesful season that led to him getting ice time on one of the biggest stages in hockey.
In his time with the Bruins thus far he has recorded three assists, including the two on Friday in front of the home crowd; assisting on both Thornton and Bergeron’s goals. With three points already Hamilton certainly is making the transition from juniors to the NHL look rather smooth at this point early on in the season.
“I think I am learning new things every day and trying to adjust,” said Hamilton. “I think I have gotten a lot of good coaching and help from my teammates. I’m just trying to get better.”
Fellow teammate Tyler Seguin is one of the closest in age to Hamilton at 20 years old but plenty of his teammates have also helped make the transition into his first few games with the club easier. Hamilton’s teammates also voiced their praise of one of the newest members of the club.
“You always like to see the young guys come in and play well and have that excitement of living their dream of being in the NHL,” said teammate Milan Lucic. “It’s great to see. It wasn’t too long ago when I was 19 and first came into the league and was having a lot of fun. Obviously, he’s at a different level than I was at 19 years old. But it’s great that he’s able to bring that extra energy to the team and to see him do well like that it definitely gives us a bit of a lift.”
At this point, Hamilton doesn’t have a permanent residence in Boston and is awaiting word from the Bruins regarding if he will remain with them or be sent back down to the Niagara Ice Dogs.
If were up to his teammates, Hamilton won’t be going anywhere come Tuesday.
“Definitely not. I mean, it’s obviously an executive decision, but I don’t expect him to go back,” said Lucic.
For the young defenseman, he is taking it one day and one game at a time.
“I am still in my hotel,” said Hamilton. “I guess after the fifth game it is their decision. I am trying not to think about it really. I am just trying to play my best and enjoy myself.”