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Dougie Hamilton ready for main camp 09.15.11 at 1:11 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — With rookie camp winding down, Bruins prospects have about to day to process what they’ve learned in the past week and figure out how to apply it when main camp officially opens on Friday. For some players, including Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, it won’t be their first rodeo, but for 2011 ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton, it will be uncharted territory.

“I think the first skate will be pretty cool,” Hamilton said after Thursday’s rookie practice at Ristuccia Arena. “I don’t really know what to expect. They’re obviously the pro guys, so you want to size yourself up to them and see what they’re like and what you need to do better and what you need to do to become an NHL player like them, so it’s going to be special going out there with them and kind of just learn from them and see what I need to do better.”

Hamilton hasn’t been around enough Bruins veterans to be able to pick their brains for what to expect, but he’s pretty close with someone who’s having a similar experience some 3,200 miles away.

Hamilton’s brother Freddie, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the Sharks, was not invited to main camp with the team last year, but like Dougie is set to wrap up rookie camp and hit the ice with the big boys. Neither figure to make strong pushes to make either team’s NHL roster, but to both be in similar spots in their careers (both played for Niagara of the OHL last year) is something that allows them to share their experiences.

“He’s helped me a lot with everything,” Hamilton said of his brother. “He’s doing [rookie camp] right now and he’s going to main camp. We’re kind of both going through the same thing right now on different coasts, so that’s cool.”

Brother Freddie isn’t the only OHL teammate Hamilton’s chatted with recently. When the Bruins and Islanders played their rookie games earlier this week, Hamilton faced Ice Dogs teammates Ryan Strome and Mitchell Theoret, who are both in rookie with the Islanders. Strome, selected one pick ahead of Hamilton in the draft, netted a pair of goals in Tuesday’s 7-2 Islanders’ win, one of which came off a funny bounce that, with Michael Hutchinson out of the net to play a dump-in, left Strome with an easy goal. Hamilton grinned as recalled telling his OHL teammate not to get too carried away with the tally.

“I don’t think he can brag too much about that one,” Hamilton said. “It’s pretty tough to miss those ones.”

Hamilton seems to be holding his own on the ice in the rookie practices, though his body isn’t yet what it figures to be by the time he reaches the NHL. The team would like the 194-pound Hamilton to add more weight, with the hope that he could end up in the 210 pound area to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame.

The biggest test for any of these players comes in the rookie games, as the game often features a high level of skill that’s yet to be fully polished. Top OHL players are donning NHL jerseys in games for the first time, and making their debuts in NHL arenas.

Hamilton certainly seems like a smart player on the ice, and though the Bruins’ offense never really got going in Tuesday’s game, he certainly knows when to be aggressive and pinch when to stay at the point in the offensive zone. Overall, Hamilton viewed the rookie games as a positive experience, though a different one.

“It’s a lot faster, a lot stronger guys, so you’ve got to step your game up and kind of play up to their level,” Hamilton said. “The guys are bigger and stronger, so it kind of pushes you. You’ve got to try to get your confidence up and be comfortable with that.”

The rookies will practice Friday at TD Garden before most of them, including Hamilton, join the veterans on the ice Saturday.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Freddie Hamilton, Ryan Strome,
Dougie Hamilton brings a few more pounds to rookie camp 09.09.11 at 3:00 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — It hasn’t been long since we last saw ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton, but the young defenseman made sure that his second impression on Ristuccia Arena was different.

Hamilton, 18, worked to address the area he’s been asked about non-stop since he was selected by the Bruins in June: his weight. The Niagara Ice Dog added six pounds since July’s development camp, weighing in at 194 pounds on Friday as rookie camp opened for the Bruins.

“I’ve gained a couple pounds, and I’m the same height,” the 6-foot-5 Hamilton said. “It’s something that I’m kind of focusing on and working on, so I’m pretty happy.”

Players generally don’t need to note where they stand height-wise, but Hamilton was still growing when he was last in town. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli noted over summer that Hamilton had grown between a quarter of an inch and half an inch from the end of the season to development camp.

Wherever Hamilton is size-wise these days, it likely won’t be the same when he becomes an NHL regular, which is more likely to happen later rather than sooner. The common line of thinking is that he’ll need another year in the OHL to bulk up and polish his skill set, with Chiarelli saying in July that 210 pounds would be a “great” playing weight for Hamilton.

For now, the Bruins are simply pleased with the progress Hamilton has been able to make in such a short period of time, as was discussed by assistant general manager Jim Benning after Friday’s double-session.

“He looked real good today, I thought. He’s skating well,” Benning said of Hamilton. “From the summer, he weighed in at 188. He was 194 today, so he put on five, six pounds of muscle. He’s a young player and he’ll continue to get stronger and bigger. He’s going to be a good player. It’s just going to be a matter of time with him.”

Hamilton seems to understand what “matter of time” means, but he isn’t entering camp thinking he’s a sure thing to return to the OHL. After using development camp as a getting-to-know-you period, Hamilton wants to use rookie camp to show the Bruins that even if he doesn’t make the team this year, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with some day.

“I just want to come in and play my best. Obviously there’s a lot of good d-men [on the NHL roster], but I think I’m just going to show my stuff and what I can do,” Hamilton said. “Whatever they want to do with me, that’s what I’ll do.”

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Rookie Camp 2011,
Dougie Hamilton recalls both times he met Zdeno Chara 07.12.11 at 4:22 pm ET
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A picture that Dougie Hamilton took with one of his idols this past year perhaps best illustrates how much being drafted can change things.

He won’t play in the NHL next season, but if he did, Hamilton would be the second-tallest defenseman on the Bruins. Having gained between a quarter of an inch and half an inch since the end of the season, the ninth overall pick in last month’s draft stands right around 6-foot-5.

Hamilton is used to being one of the taller guys out there, but he’s known since he was drafted that he won’t be the biggest Bruin. The Toronto native has long admired 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara, and the prospect met the Stanley Cup champion at the team’s development camp.

“He just said, ‘Hi, I’m Zee.’ I told him congrats, and he said ‘you too,’” recalled an excited Hamilton after camp concluded.

It wasn’t Hamilton’s first time meeting Chara, but the last time the two met, the circumstances were much different.

“I went down to the room after a game this year in Toronto and took a picture with him,” Hamilton said. “I kind of thought about that picture when I met him [at camp]. It’s pretty cool. You’re a fan, and you’re seeing him and taking pictures with him, and a couple months later you’re shaking his hand and could be his teammate one day. It’s definitely cool.”

Perhaps the next time a picture is taken of the two, they’ll both be on the ice at the team’s training camp. When he makes the big club in a year or two, Bruins fans can picture a rather large defensive pairing, should they skate together.

“He makes me feel small,” Hamilton, who needs to add around 20 pounds before he will be at optimal playing weight, said. “I don’t really feel small too often, but he definitely [makes it seem that way].”

Hamilton showed off his skills over the five-day development camp at Ristuccia Arena. He projects to be a top-pairing defenseman when he eventually reaches the NHL. The 18-year-old hopes to weigh between 210 and 220 pounds by then, with general manager Peter Chiarelli saying that 210 pounds “would be great.”

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Zdeno Chara,
Dougie Hamilton ready to wait for NHL, but needs weight for NHL 07.07.11 at 5:04 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton is the second blue-chip NHL draft prospect in as many years to highlight the Bruins’ annual development camp, as he was the star at Ristuccia Arena Thursday, a year after Tyler Seguin came in as the No. 2 overall pick last summer. Unlike Seguin a year ago, Hamilton is not expected to make the NHL roster this season, and figures to head back to Niagara of the OHL for a third season. The Bruins’ defensive group is already more than full, with Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski a likely training camp battle for the seventh spot. Given where the Bruins sit in the NHL and their defensive situation, Hamilton doesn’t figure to be overwhelmed with trying to force his way in.

“I don’t think there’s really any pressure,” Hamilton said Thursday at Ristuccia. “I want to be an NHL player, and I’m working as hard as I can to make that happen. I think whatever the staff wants to do with me, and whatever’s best for my development, I’m happy with that. I just want to be a dominant player in the NHL one day. Whatever it’s going to take is what I want to do.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the draft came when the Islanders passed on Hamilton’s service with the fifth overall pick last month. Their selection of Hamilton’s Niagara teammate in center Ryan Strome allowed the defenseman to fall to nine, where the B’s scooped him up with Toronto’s pick.

While joining the Bruins figures to cost him a shot at the NHL next season, their success has proven that he’s joining a team who have used their youngsters the right way.

“I think it just shows how well the staff does with their players,” he said. “If a team doesn’t have good prospects coming up and good players in their system, I guess they’re not doing something right. Boston’s obviously doing something right, and it’s good to be a part of that, and it’s going to be a fun couple of years to develop and become an NHL player.”

Coming off a 58-point season for the IceDogs, the most important for the 6-foot-5 defenseman figures to be weight. Weighing in the 190-pound range, the Toronto native clearly needs to bulk up before he can become the top-pairing blueliner he is projected to one day be.

“For sure [I need to gain weight],” Hamilton said. “I’ve gained a lot of weight this summer, and over the last couple of years I’ve grown so much. It’s kind of been hard to fill out and fill into my body. [There are] some uncoordinated points because of the growth, but right now I’m just trying to stay strong. I guess you don’t really need to be that big if you’re still strong. It would definitely be nice to put on some weight.”

Hamilton says that his target weight is somewhere in the neighborhood of 210-220 pounds.

“It’s kind of cool for me thinking about that,” Hamilton added, “just because it would allow me to a lot more dominant out there.”

Dominance is what the Bruins should one day expect from Hamilton. Though he does not yet look the part of a top defenseman, the lanky and bright-eyed teenager (he turned 18 last month) compares himself to Rob Blake, a comparison with which B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli agrees.

For now, Hamilton and the other newcomers to development camp are there to meet one another and make a good impression on the organization.

“[He's] a big boy, moves really well for a kid that’€™s 6-foot-4,” B’s assistant GM Don Sweeney said Thursday. “I like his overall approach to the game. He looks like he wants to get up ice and is conscientious about his one-on-one play. It’€™s a small sample size, obviously, but based on all of our games we watched him play, he’€™s a well-rounded player that has a lot of room for continued development so we’€™re really excited to have him.”

Read More: 2011 Development Camp, Dougie Hamilton,
Bruins development camp preview 07.06.11 at 7:18 pm ET
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With the Bruins’ development camp set to begin Thursday, it will be interesting to see whether the hype from winning the Stanley Cup will match the turnout the B’s got from fans eager to get a glimpse of Tyler Seguin last year. The final day of last year’s camp drew 1,200 fans, who packed into Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, filling the rink.

While the two biggest names — Seguin and top prospect Joe Colborne, the latter of whom was sent to Toronto in the Tomas Kaberle trade — will not be in attendance, there will be no shortage of players to watch as the camp opens. Here’s the list of players set to attend, and a look at a few noteworthy ones.

Forwards: Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Alexander Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Josh Jooris, Jared Knight, Alexander Khokhlachev, Brett Olson, Tyler Randell, Eric Robinson, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner

Defensemen: Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Tommy Cross, Dougie Hamilton, Robby O’€™Gara, Steven Spinell, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky

Goaltenders: Zane Gothberg, Mike Hutchinson, Lars Volden

All six members of the Bruins’ 2011 draft class will be in attendance in Hamilton, Khokhlachev, Camara, Ferlin, O’Gara and Volden. For a recap of the Bruins’ draft, click here.

Here are five players to watch over the five-day camp:

NEWCOMERS

Dougie Hamilton, defenseman

Draft: First round (ninth overall) of 2011 draft

Why he’s worth watching: The fact that the Bruins have seven NHL defensemen signed and ready to go for the coming season provides proof that general manager Peter Chiarelli wasn’t kidding when he said he didn’t expect Hamilton to make the team this year, but Hamilton is easily the Bruins’ top defensive prospect. The lanky defenseman doesn’t have the pizazz that Seguin, a flashy forward, had in last year’s camp, but he carried a legitimate top-five grade heading into the draft and figures to be top-pairing defenseman when he reaches the NHL. He’ll undoubtedly be the biggest name among the players in attendance this week.

Alexander Khokhlachev, forward

Draft: Second round (40th overall) of 2011 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Khokhlachev might be the most intriguing player in attendance, as it was hard to pin down a certain range where he could commonly be found in mock drafts. Some had the Russian forward potentially being a first-rounder, while others had him going low in the second round. His scoring touch is what people ogle over, and he had a four-point game against Kitchener last season, his first in the OHL. He finished the regular season with 34 goals.

FAMILIAR FACES

Ryan Spooner, center

Draft: Second round (45th overall) of 2010 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Spooner can consider himself the OHL big shot among the players in Wilmington this week, as he racked up 81 points between Peterborough and Kingston last season. He ended last year’s rookie games in style, scoring both goals (the second of which sealed the game in overtime) of the B’s 2-1 win in the second of two games vs. Islanders rookies.

Jared Knight, right wing

Draft: Second round (32nd overall) of 2010 draft

Why he’s worth watching: The choice with the second-rounder acquired in the Phil Kessel deal, Knight had a career-high 70 points in the regular season for London (OHL) last year. A native of Michigan, Knight finished last season with Providence, playing three games for the Baby B’s and picking up two assists.

Tommy Cross

Draft: Second round (35th overall) of 2007 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Until the B’s drafted Hamilton ninth overall with the Maple Leafs‘ first-rounder last month, Cross was actually the highest selected defenseman of the Chiarelli era in Boston. Knee issues (he suffered a baseball injury that hurt his draft stock) have plagued the Boston College blueliner him since the Bruins selected him. Cross scored the game-winning goal in overtime over Boston University in the Beanpot semifinal game last year.

Here’s the schedule of events, courtesy of the Bruins:

Thursday, July 7 (Wilmington, MA)
-Fitness testing at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 1:15 p.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice practice ends

Friday, July 8 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice practice ends

Saturday, July 9 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 11:45 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice workout ends
-Off-ice workout at 1:30 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Sunday, July 10 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:15 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after scrimmage ends
-Off-ice workout at 1:00 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Monday, July 11 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:00 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after scrimmage ends
-Off-ice workout at 12:30 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Read More: 2011 Development Camp, Alex Khokhlachev, Dougie Hamilton,
Dougie Hamilton, others to attend Bruins’ development camp 06.29.11 at 11:21 am ET
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The Bruins announced the roster for next week/month’s (July 7-11) development camp on Wednesday. Development camp, held at Ristuccia Arena, is where the big-name draft picks can be seen on the ice for the first time in a Bruins’ sweater, and the arrival of Tyler Seguin made it an absolute zoo last year. This time around, fans will get to see the likes of defenseman Dougie Hamilton (taken ninth overall last week) and forward Alexander Khokhlachev (40th overall).

Here is the list of players attending:

Forwards: Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Alexander Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Josh Jooris, Jared Knight, Alexander Khokhlachev, Brett Olson, Tyler Randell, Eric Robinson, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner

Defensemen: Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Tommy Cross, Dougie Hamilton, Robby O’€™Gara, Steven Spinell, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky

Goaltenders: Zane Gothberg, Mike Hutchinson, Lars Volden

Courtesy of the Bruins, here’s the schedule of the events, which will be run by Providence coach Bruce Cassidy:

Thursday, July 7 (Wilmington, MA)
-Fitness testing at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. ET (closed to public)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 1:15 p.m. ET

Friday, July 8 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workouts (closed to public)

Saturday, July 9 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 11:45 a.m. ET

Sunday, July 10 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:15 a.m. ET

Monday, July 11 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:00 a.m. ET

Read More: Alexander Khokhlachev, Dougie Hamilton,
That’s a wrap: A look at the Bruins’ 2011 draft class 06.25.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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The Bruins’ 2011 draft is in the books Here’s a quick recap of the newest additions to the organization, along with some video:

FIRST ROUND

Ninth overall: Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara (OHL)

Hamilton fits the cliche of the guy the team couldn’t have expected to be available when they were picking. Many figured the 6-foot-4 defenseman would be a top-5 pick, and when he was there, the B’s grabbed a well-rounded defenseman who figures to be a top-pairing blueliner in the NHL, though Peter Chiarelli figures he needs “at least” another year of seasoning before he plays in Boston. That means a third season in the OHL for Hamilton is a safe bet.

Chiarelli compares the 18-year-old Hamilton to Rob Blake, with Hamilton likening his style to Blake, Jay Bouwmeester and Brent Burns.

There shouldn’t be much pressure on a guy like Hamilton to be rushed. Given how high his ceiling is as a physical, strong-skating and offensively savvy defenseman and the fact that the B’s have good enough blue line depth, the B’s can let him continue to develop without having to rush him to the show.

SECOND ROUND

40th overall: Alex Khokhlachev, F, Windsor (OHL)

The 17-year-old Russian can play center or wing, and he scored 34 goals this past season for the Spitfires. Last season was his first in the OHL, and he led all rookies with 20 points in the playoffs.

THIRD ROUND

81st overall: Anthony Camara, LW, Saginaw (OHL)

Camara is the tough guy of the Bruins’ 2011 haul. He totaled 132 penalty minutes this past season for Saginaw, and simply plugging his name into YouTube will yield some OHL bouts of his. Camara stands at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds. He scored eight goals and had nine assists in 2010-11. He is committed to attend Cornell.

FOURTH ROUND

121st overall: Brian Ferlin, RW, Indiana (USHL)

The first non-OHL player selected by the B’s in this draft, Ferlin scored 25 goals and chipped in 48 assists for Indiana in 2010-11. The Jacksonville native stands at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds.

FIFTH ROUND

151st overall: Rob O’Gara, D, Milton Academy (HS)

The New York native is set to attend Yale, making it two future Ivy Leaguers chosen by the B’s in this year’s draft. He scored two goals and had seven assists for Milton Academy this past year.

SIXTH ROUND

181st overall: Lars Volden, G, Blue Jr. (Finland)

Though he played in Finland last year, Volden actually hails from Norway. The B’s have now spent sixth-round picks on goaltenders in two straight years, as they added Zane Gothberg with the 165th pick last year. Volden had a 2.46 goals against average and .907 save percentage for Blues Jr. in 2010-11.

Read More: 2011 NHL Draft, Alex Khokhlachev, Anthony Camara, Brian Ferlin
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