Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday night that he does not expect defenseman Dougie Hamilton, whom the team chose with the ninth overall pick in the NHL  draft, to play in the NHL  next season. If the 18-year-old doesn’t make the Bruins, he will return to Niagara for another season in the OHL.
“I’d say he needs a little more development,” Chiarelli said of the 6-foot-4, 187-pound blueliner. “He’s still fairly skinny. He has to be stronger, but you never know. You never know how he’ll have his summer, but my guess is that he’s at least a year away.”
The Bruins did not bring Hamilton in for a workout, and it was a surprise to the team that he was available with the ninth pick. Hamilton was ranked the No. 4 North American skater by Central Scouting.
“We basically said that we don’t have to bring this fellow in,” Chiarelli said. “If he’s there, it’s a no-brainer so we didn’t have to see anything extra on him. That’s how strongly we feel about him.”
If the Bruins are assuming that Hamilton will be in Niagara, and not in Boston, next season, this pick should not impact how the team approaches Tomas Kaberle  this offseason. The team has had talks with Kaberle’s agent, and if the B’s are to retain him on a three-year deal, Hamilton could still come in for the 2012-13 and have a spot open if Johnny Boychuk , who is in the last year of his deal, does not return. Andrew Ference ‘s deal is up in two seasons, so the Bruins are set to see a couple of defensemen’s contracts expire over the next couple of years.
While picking Hamilton doesn’t hurt any of those guys directly right now, it could eventually make things tough for the Steven Kampfers and Matt Bartkowskis of the world.