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Saturday, August 4, 2012

PROSPECT OR SUSPECT? Curtis Hamilton

Curtis Hamilton
6’3 202 lbs
AGE: 20



Year         GP   G     A     P      +/-     Team
2006/07      2      0     0      0       -2      Saskatoon Blades
2007/08      68    14   13    27    -15     Saskatoon Blades
2008/09      58    20   28    48     28     Saskatoon Blades
2009/10      26    7     9      16     9       Saskatoon Blades
2010/11      62    26   56    82     48     Saskatoon Blades
2011/12      41    5     6      11     2       OKC Barons

Hamilton is a big winger known for good skating and finishing his checks. He plays well at both ends of the ice and in jr hockey had solid offensive skills, but thrives in a power-forward role among smaller opponents. He excels at using his big frame effectively and efficiently even at the minor pro level when on his game. Still adjusting his game to the minor-pro level his defensive awareness is above average,  and his willingness to get his nose dirty without taking unnecessary penalties serves him well. He can be the kind of hard working player who can contribute in any situation that coaches love.


The one stat that is alarming is Curtis' point totals. While never thought to be a top end point producer, some expectations have been that he could be a quality third line guy who can put up some points occasionally. I have doubts that he can produce even at a .50 ppg pace in the NHL but only time will tell.


Last August 2011 , I wrote the following here at Oilers Jambalya...

Hamilton has  some good offensive skills, but his game excels in a power-forward role. He will need a continued commitment to building power and acceleration as a important development, as he transitions to the minor pro game. He was physically NHL-ready at 18, good agility for a man his size. His skills , his vision look good and seems to get along with many players both young, older and even those who speak little English. (as seen at 2011 development camp) During that same camp he was seen quite often, laughing and rubbing shoulders with guys out there on the ice.

His time in the WHL is over, so this will be his year at the AHL level to compete with men. After working his way up the line-up at the U20 world jr’s this past year it will be interesting to see where his top game is. Most likely will be a player in Hartikanen’s mold so probably a 4th, top 3rd line player at this time in his career. As long as his game continues to show positive arrows, he could very well see some NHL playing time, as early as the 2012/2013 season

REVS TAKE: t's unclear whether he will bring enough offense at the NHL level to be a true top six forward, however his game is perfectly suited for a third line role if the offense is found wanting. He plays a physical, responsible, two way game. If Curtis could take his game to the same intensity level he showed for Team Canada at the world jr's , the Oilers could have a excellent player on their hands. The past couple development and training camps have not favoured Curtis but with injuries , his career has gone somewhat sideways. Scouts felt in his draft year that Hamilton would likely carve out a role at the NHL level as early as the 2012-13 season. That surely will not come to fruition this year and I would say fans of Curtis are more likely to see it being 2014/15 before such a possibility happens. I say at this time in his development he is still PROSPECT

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