WILMINGTON, Mass. -- After just one day of training, it’s obviously hard to gauge exactly where Dougie Hamilton fits down the road for the defending Stanley Cup champions. But if there’s one thing he’s got going for him so far, it’s humility.
Asked if he was perhaps a little intimidated following the afternoon session of the first day of Bruins development camp at Ristuccia Arena, the Bruins' first-round draft pick conceded, “Maybe a little bit.”
“Obviously there’s a lot of good players here,” he said. “It’s a little bit different than the OHL, where some guys are younger than you. [Here] there’s a lot of older guys, and everybody’s pretty fast out there, so it’s fun.”
While it wasn’t quite the Seguin-mania that dominated last year’s development camp, the 6-foot-4 defenseman and ninth overall draft pick drew a considerable crowd, both in the three-quarter-filled bleachers and in the deep contingent of media on hand looking to get a first glimpse of the kid.
Thursday morning, as part of fitness tests, Hamilton joined the two-dozen prospects in some intense shuttle runs outdoors, followed by some reps on the bench press (he did 10 reps at 175 pounds, an improvement from his 11 reps of 150 at the NHL combine two months ago). In the afternoon session on the ice, he skated well and showed off his sharp shot from the point in rush drills.
“[He’s] a big boy, moves really well for a kid that’s 6-4,” assistant general manager Don Sweeney said following the afternoon session. “I like his overall approach to the game ... he looks like he wants to get up ice and is conscientious about his one-on-one play.
“And it’s a small sample size, obviously, but based on all of our games we watched him play, he’s a well-rounded player that has a lot of room for continued development, so we’re really excited to have him.”
Hamilton didn’t drop any jaws, but coming off a Stanley Cup championship season and with the recent acquisition of Joe Corvo from Carolina, there isn’t any rush for the Bruins to rush him. Plus, Hamilton says he’d like to bulk his 193-pound frame up to the 210-to-220 range.
“Over the last couple years, I’ve grown so much that it’s been hard to fill out into my body,” Hamilton said. “There’s some uncoordinated points because of the growth, but just right now trying to stay strong. I guess you don’t really need to be that big if you’re strong, but it would definitely be nice to put on some weight.”
Back on draft night, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli guessed that Hamilton was “at least a year away” from being brought up. And while another season with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs is the most logical conclusion, it’s still all speculative at this point.
“Obviously my goal is to be an NHL player,” Hamilton said. “I’ll work as hard as I can to make that happen, but if the staff wants to send me back to juniors I’d be happy with that as well.”
Warsofsky learning on the job
Last March, Marshfield native David Warsofsky decided to forgo his final year of eligibility at Boston University and join the Providence Bruins as they entered the stretch run.
In hindsight, it was an easy decision, for obvious reasons.
“It was exciting,” said the stocky defenseman. "Growing up your whole life, you want to see the Bruins win a Stanley Cup, and you’re from this area. To see them do it when you’re part of the organization, I think that made it even better.”
Warsofsky is currently taking classes at BU to finish up his degree, sharing an apartment with a friend on Seaport Boulevard, in the Waterfront district. Last summer, fresh from the St. Louis Blues as part of the Vladimir Sobotka trade, Warsofsky came into camp banged up; Sweeney noted his improved physical shape this time around.
“From an overall skill, when the puck settles down on his stick, you’ll realize what he brings to the table,” Sweeney said. “I think it was real important for David to get into Providence last year. And understand that, I guess I’ll speak from experience, that size is going to present a challenge to him. He knows that. He’s only played at this size so that’s a good thing in terms of where he’s standing, because he’ll look at it and say, ‘What do I have to compare it to?'
“But the thinking part of the game and understanding body position, things that you’d get away with maybe at the other levels you do not get away with at the pro level. And he needs to understand that and go to work on it. I think he’s been going through the conversations, going back over the conversations we’ve had. You know, we’re excited that he’s accepting that as well as what he does bring to the table from an offensive, puck moving [standpoint], and the way he thinks of the game.”
Milton's O'Gara has work to do
Fourth-round draft pick and Milton Academy junior Rob O’Gara reaffirmed with ESPNBoston.com that he will return to the ISL school for his final year of eligibility. O’Gara, a Massapequa, N.Y., native, repeated his junior year this season after transferring into the New England powerhouse. He also turned 18 yesterday.
At a deceivingly lanky 6-foot-4 and 197 pounds, O’Gara is well aware of the development he needs to make over the next year before heading off to Yale in the fall of 2012. He did 10 reps of 155 pounds on the bench press Thursday morning at the fitness testing. He’s shooting for 205 pounds by September, and 220 by this time next year, and says his diet currently calls for at least 3,000 calories per day.
“I’ve gotta fill out, I know that,” he said. “Testing this morning just shows that. It’s going to be a lot of hard work. Just gotta keep skating, keep hitting the gym, and it’ll come.”
Sweeney said O’Gara is “a piece of clay right now, albeit it’s a big piece.”
“At 6-foot-4, it can change. Things have come at him here a little quicker in the last, I’d say, eight months,” Sweeney said. “But we got a chance, I did in particular and other people got a chance to see him a lot. He’s in our backyard. We went down and spoke to him and he’s excited. This is probably catching him a little off guard in terms of the preparation aspect of it.
“As I mentioned, you come from the prep-school ranks and, you know, there’s a lot to digest here in a short period of time. The good thing is there’s no timetable for him. He’s not going to get any smaller. He’s only going to fill out and continue to get better. And he’s going to be right in our backyard for another year then on to a real good program in Yale. So I think that he’ll learn a lot. He’ll be one of those kids that walks out of here, hopefully, and learns an awful lot and takes some of this stuff going forward.”