Sunday, April 11, 2010
Hamill a good fit in NHL debut
By Joe McDonald
WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Bruins finally decided to give prospect Zach Hamill a shot.
Boston's top pick (eighth overall) in the 2007 draft, Hamill was called up from the Providence Bruins on Saturday and made his NHL debut against the Capitals on Sunday. He wasted little time getting acclimated, recording his first point on his second shift when he assisted on Michael Ryder's goal at 5:29 of the first period.
"That's what you want to do coming in -- make the right play, a hockey play," Hamill said. "I cycled it down to [Milan Lucic] and he made a nice play to Ryder."
"It was good," Hamill said of his debut. "My linemates obviously helped me a lot. When I was out there I just wanted to play my game and keep it simple and do what I do best."
With a postseason berth already in hand, Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to give Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi the day off Sunday for some much-needed rest and it was a perfect environment to give Hamill a shot.
"He was good," said Julien. "I thought he was pretty poised with the puck and he competed hard. In our own end he was pretty good and was in the right position. His focus was good and obviously he got that helper there on that one goal.
"That's what we wanted to see. We wanted to put him in some positions where he had an opportunity to showcase his talents, the power play was part of it, and I thought he did well."
The Bruins simply wanted to bring Hamill up to give him a taste of what the NHL is like. He had already played a couple of preseason games with the Bruins, but this is completely different. Now Hamill knows what he needs to do to prepare for training camp next September.
"Playing in the preseason and playing against the best team in the league is a little different, but you see the speed and strength of the players, you get a taste and you want more. It definitely gives you something to strive for in the future," he said.
Hamill spent the entire season with the P-Bruins and recorded 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points in 75 games.