With the latest move in which the Bruins traded Johnny Boychuk for draft picks, the next up in a thin defensive-defenseman line is Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton, who may need to lead the second line, or stay on his first line pairing with Chara and increase his workload to preserve an aging Chara for the playoffs.
Excerpt taken from Dougie Hamilton post on ESPN Boston: ‘My focus this summer was on my training and getting better. I really didn’t do much of anything else over the summer. I did turn 21, but being 21 doesn’t really matter to me. I consider every day to be like a birthday. It’s nice to kind of get a little bit older and stop being the kid everyone saw me as.’
Dougie Hamilton is coming off a season in which the 9th overall pick in the 2011 draft posted career-high numbers in every category. The first line defender posted 7 goals with 25 points in 64 games. That sort of improvement is going to need to continue to make up for a pretty devastating loss for the Bruins.
As Chara ages, you have to wonder how many seasons he can continue to average 25 minutes on the ice per game and I honestly think last season was a breaking point for Chara’s minutes on the ice. This, paired with the oft-injured McQuaid makes for an interesting storyline that will begin playing itself out tonight in the season opener.
The Bruins have a spotty history in the draft since Chiarelli came here and they really need this first round pick to work out more than any other if they want to make a deep run. There is virtually no depth at defense-first defensemen. It’s basically Seidenberg, Chara, McQuaid and Dougie and that’s it.
It was a gamble moving Boychuk so soon to the season opener and I would argue that Boychuk may have been worth more at the trade deadline to a team short on D like the Bruins were last season, but he’s gone now and it’s up to the players to all take a bigger workload. No, it’s not a make-or-break year for Hamilton as an individual player, but if the Bruins want to make the cup finals, then it definitely is necessary for Hamilton to be as good/or better than Boychuk as soon as possible.