Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
BOSTON — With the TD Garden lights dimmed, smoke machines shooting and music blaring, Dougie Hamilton took the ice for the first time as an NHL player. The 19-year-old Bruins defenseman skated out to a thunderous ovation from a sellout TD Garden crowd. Moments later, he would hop over the boards and make his NHL debut in Boston’s 3-1 win over the Rangers. All in all, not a bad night for a kid. “It’s a dream come true,” Hamilton said after his first game. “Ever since I was a little kid I dreamt of that moment, and I’m just happy that it came true. All you can do is really enjoy it.” It was a pretty solid debut for the No. 9 pick in the 2011 draft. Hamilton logged 13:40 of ice time on 19 shifts, with a good chunk of that time (4:25) coming on the power play. Perhaps just as importantly, Hamilton showed that he can be more than an offensive defenseman, getting his stick in the right place to break up a 2-on-1 chance in the third period in front of Tuukka Rask and the Boston net. “You know again, it was a matter of him getting through it, and if anything, like I said, he seemed to get more and more comfortable as the game went on,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “And as I mentioned this morning, what this guy lacks is experience, and the only way he’s going to get it is by playing. But everything else was there, and you know he’s used to playing against 16- to 20-year-olds and now he’s playing against men. And I thought he handled the corners and battles pretty well.” Experience is the only thing that’s going to really help Hamilton’s evolution, and it speaks volumes that the Bruins are comfortable throwing Hamilton out there right away in what’s going to be a furious sprint to the playoffs. Making the transition easier for Hamilton, no doubt, is playing alongside a group of veterans — a battle-tested club that knows how to win. “They’re all being nice to me, just making me feel comfortable,” Hamilton said. “It’s easy coming to the rink every day when they’re all making me feel welcomed and making me smarter and things like that. So far, it’s been real good.” The most encouraging thing about Hamilton’s play on Saturday night is that there were no plays where he stood out in a negative way. Those will come, of course, as it’s all part of the maturation process for a teenager in the NHL. That process, as everyone knows, comes with some pretty lofty expectations. Following Saturday’s morning skate, Julien set the bar pretty high for Hamilton. Like, really high. “I don’t think he has a weakness, more than the only weakness that he has is his lack of experience, and we’ve got to allow him to get that,” Julien said.  “We like where he is. We like what he’s brought so far. You’ve seen lots of guys come into the league the same way he has and do well and we expect him to be that guy.” Hamilton took the first step toward being that guy on Saturday night.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.