action:article | category:SPORTS0701 | adString:SPORTS0701 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Bruins/NHL

January 16. 2013 11:16PM

Ian Clark's On Hockey: Hamilton, Bourque seem set to make Bruins' team

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There will likely be two new players in Boston Bruins sweaters when the season opens Saturday and both of them come with a lot of buildup attached to their names, albeit for different reasons.

Dougie Hamilton and Chris Bourque are poised to lock in roster spots with the Bruins, who open at home Saturday against the New York Rangers. Hamilton comes in with the "can't miss prospect" tag while Bourque carries forth the legendary name of his father, Ray.

Both have things to prove.

Hamilton was the Bruins' first-round draft pick in 2011, selected ninth overall. He is just 19 years old (and looks 12), but he is a monster defenseman at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. The scouting report says he can do it all, but just how quickly he can do it all in the NHL will be the question.

"It's been awesome," Hamilton said of training camp. "Just to be here with these players and be able to watch them and learn from them and try to be like them has been really fun for me. It's really exciting to be able to do that. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and get better every day."

Hamilton said that in junior hockey, the coaches have just let him play. And play he has, scoring eight goals and 33 assists in 32 games with Niagara this season in the OHL.

"Sometimes in junior you get to a point where no one is really telling you what to do and helping you out so to be able to come here and have people tell me what to do all the time is definitely nice," Hamilton said. "I'm always trying to learn from different guys and whoever will help me out. I like that."

Hamilton appears ready from a maturity level. The unknown for him resides in his ability to adapt to the pro game and work out the butterflies that can make an otherwise confident player hesitate as Hamilton did in Tuesday's Black and Gold scrimmage with the Providence Bruins.

"I thought Dougie was okay. He might have looked a little bit nervous. He's (usually) more poised with the puck than he was (in the scrimmage)," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We kind of expected that it's his first game and guys put a lot of pressure on themselves, and I think the biggest thing for us will be to calm him down."

As for left winger Bourque, wearing the spoked B is a dream come true. Traded from the Washington organization in the offseason, Bourque could not be happier with his new home.

"I was thrilled when I got the news that I was getting traded here," Bourque said. "Growing up being a huge Bruins fan and cheering for them the better part of my life. It's always been my favorite team to come to training camp here and put on a Bruins a sweater is really exciting for me."

Bourque is a late bloomer, just now getting a real NHL shot just shy of his 27th birthday after 13 games of NHL experience spread out over nine seasons.

But Bourque has quickly carved out a spot on the third or fourth line with Boston and having played 32 games with Providence this season has him in peak condition.

"I'm in mid-season form. I've been playing since October. I'm in game shape," Bourque said. "The pace is a little faster up here but you kind of get used to that. I'm starting to get my legs. I'm starting to feel pretty good."

Bourque has been an effective scorer at every stop on his career. His arrival in Boston may have looked like a favor to his old man, but he can play the game. Bourque led the AHL in scoring with Hershey last season with 27 goals and 66 assists for 93 points.

In practice Wednesday Bourque was paired with center Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.

"It's really fun playing with some really smart players out there," Bourque said. "I feel like the chemistry is coming along pretty well. It's only been four days or so but it feels pretty good."


Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He may be reached at iclark@unionleader.com.


  • Should public schools in NH provide students with firearms safety instruction?
  • Yes
  • 65%
  • No
  • 35%
  • Total Votes: 1958
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

New OT rule in AHL generating buzz

Slam thunk! Sarah Silverman nearly hit by basketball at Knicks game... but luckily John McEnroe is there to shield her

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear new Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!