Thursday, November 10, 2011
Hamill hopes to show he belongs
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Bruins prospect Zach Hamill doesn’t know whether he'll be in the lineup tonight when Boston hosts the Edmonton Oilers, but he’s just happy to be here this early in the season.
The 23-year-old forward was recalled from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis Wednesday afternoon since Bruins forward Daniel Paille is out of the lineup after undergoing facial surgery.
If forward Rich Peverley, who missed the last game because of a minor undisclosed injury, is not able to play tonight, then Hamill will make his 2011-2012 season debut. Peverley did participate in the team’s game-day skate this morning and will be a game-time decision, according to coach Claude Julien.
The Bruins selected Hamill as their first pick (eighth overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and he’s been honing his skills with Providence. He’s played a total of four games in the previous two seasons for the Bruins and has two assists. At the time of his recall on Wednesday, Hamill was leading the P-Bruins with five goals and five assists for 10 points in 14 games, while logging plenty of ice time.
“It’s been pretty good and obviously [P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy] has been showing the confidence in me and I appreciate that,” Hamill said. “I’m just trying to work hard and show him I can do those things.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien attended a P-Bruins game a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with Hamill’s play.
“It was [Providence’s] third game in three nights and I really liked the way he played,” Julien said. “He’s been playing the wing this year and he’s making good plays. He was technically pretty sound and I thought he was competing well, so I didn’t mind his game.”
A natural centerman, Hamill has played the right wing this season for the P-Bruins and the transition has been a smooth one for him.
“The first couple of games it was a little different, but I worked on some things and watched NHL games to see how smaller guys play the right wing. I’ll go from there and it’s been pretty good.”
When he arrived at training camp this season there were two things he wanted to work on: shooting the puck and crashing the net. He said he believes he’s accomplished that so far in Providence.