Hamilton sent back to juniors

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
2:03
PM ET
BOSTON -- Suffice it to say there weren’t any real surprises among the 14 training camp releases announced last night following the Bruins’ 6-3 win over the Islanders last night. At the blue line, even a veteran like Andrew Bodnarchuk was going to have a difficult time cracking the defensive pairings with the big club.

So it comes as little surprise that the Bruins have decided to send first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton back to his OHL club for another year of development. Shortly after the draft, general manager Peter Chiarelli suggested that maybe the 18-year-old defenseman was a year away. At rookie development camp this summer, the lanky Hamilton sounded like a kid who realized this, and added that he’d like to bulk up to the ballpark of 210-215 pounds (he’s currently listed at 193).

Hamilton has grown to 6-foot-5 since that summer session, and is still filling in. Asked following yesterday morning’s two training sessions at TD Garden about what Hamilton will need to work on this year back in major-junior, head coach Claude Julien said, “I don’t think there’s much.”

“Obviously he’s an eighteen-year-old, he’s got to fill in and he’s got a lot of room to fill in as far as being able to continue to skate well,” Julien said. “To me, I saw a lot of great assets from this young defenseman. For his size, his skating is very strong. I thought he moved the puck well. He’s also a guy that took the ice that was given to him, a good heads-up type of player, has great hockey sense, has all the tools to become a real solid NHL defenseman.

“So right now, it’s maybe more about age and giving him a chance to continue to fill into his body and get some more experience, get a little older and more experienced, so that’s basically it. We’re not finding faults here; if anything, we’re excited from what we saw from this young player.”

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