Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/16/13
Dougie Hamilton is just 19 years old and has yet to appear in an NHL game, so Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli finds it difficult to put a ceiling on what exactly the big defenseman could accomplish in his career. But when asked who Hamilton compares to, Chiarelli threw out a couple of interesting names. Chiarelli said that Hamilton’s skill set reminds him of Larry Robinson and Rob Blake. “He’s rangy, he has a good shot. I don’t know if he has a hip check like Rob Blake, but he’s a very good skater, sees the ice well, and good defensively,” Chiarelli said Wednesday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich. “I see a lot of common traits with those two players.” Again, Chiarelli’s comparison is based solely on the type of player Hamilton is — not necessarily which players his career will ultimately mirror — but that’s still some very good company to be in, regardless. Robinson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995, spent 17 seasons with the Canadiens and three seasons with the Kings, making 20 consecutive trips to the playoffs along the way. He was also a 10-time All-Star who won two Norris Trophies. Blake, who many think will eventually find his way into the Hall of Fame, had a very successful career that included stops in Los Angeles, Colorado and San Jose. He earned seven All-Star selections and won the Norris Trophy in 1997-98. Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it’s looking more and more likely that Hamilton’s NHL career will kick off on Saturday, when the Bruins open up their season against the Rangers. Chiarelli saw plenty of positives out of Hamilton during the Bruins’ inter-squad scrimmage with the Providence Bruins on Tuesday. “Dougie is a very good player; a mature player for his age,” Chiarelli said. “It’s tough for a defenseman to come into the NHL. There is more responsibility, more assignments and the exposure is greater . If you saw the game last night, he had a really good first period, stumbled a bit in the second — I think he fumbled some pucks and the speed got to him a bit — but I thought he had a strong third.” Hamilton figures to make the roster as Boston’s sixth defenseman, although Chiarelli still has some time to make a final decision. Photo via Facebook/Dougie Hamilton
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