Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/20/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker