In an effort to continue the trend of alternating week to week coverage between forwards and defenders, this week we take a look at yet another stud dealt away by the Boston Bruins by the name of Dougie Hamilton. If you’ve never taken the time to compile the potential line combinations traded away by Boston in the past twelve years it’s truly breathtaking. Hamilton just turned 24 a month ago, and he's really coming into his own as a valuable multi-category fantasy asset, but with the recent slew of moves in Calgary, it's important to re-evaluate his situation going forward.
There’s no doubt Hamilton has consistently gotten better in consecutive seasons since leaving Boston. After three years of improving point totals, PIM and shots, it’s safe to call him one of the most consistent blue-line options. His points per 60 minutes also improved slightly in 2016-17 after two seasons of matching rates, and his Corsi For percentage shot up 55.0 after posting a 49.7 mark in 2015-16.
2015-16 was a down year for the Flames, so it was encouraging to see Hamilton get back to being a significant driver of possession. While still likely not in the Tier 1 echelon of defenders in multi-category league, he's capable of putting up high-end production, and in points-only formats, he still remains quite valuable after posting his first 50 point season this past year. Unfortunately, Hamilton is unlikely to slip as far in drafts as his did last fall.
Hamilton – TJ Brodie
Going back to the opening statement in regards to re-evaluating Hamilton for the coming season, take a look above at these potential blue-line pairs for the Flames in 2017-18. What owners must consider going into drafts is what will be the fallout of Hamonic coming to Calgary. Hamonic wasn't acquired to play on the third pair. This is a proven defender that can matchup up against the opposition's top players, and Calgary dealt several top picks for him, so he's going to play often. The other potential dagger to Hamilton’s situation is the fact that Hamonic is also a right-handed shot, which gives Calgary four total. We’ve seen handedness be a fantasy roadblock for players on other teams in the past.
The Flames possess a deep defense, and easily one of the best in the league. This scenario cannot be seen as beneficial to any one player in particular from a fantasy standpoint, as there are several assets to contribute for the greater good so to speak. This is not to say Hamilton still won’t be a great asset to own, but expecting 50 points again with the additional depth might be asking a lot.
Hamilton will have to luck out in several scenarios to really break away from the pack, and with the blend of style on their blue line now, it is safer to keep him in the 40-point range. Claiming a role on the No. 1 power-play unit would be a difference maker, but there are still a lot of ifs without guaranteed answer(s). Expectations should probably be tempered.
It’s all about where you draft Hamilton this fall. Reach for him, and it could be a blow to your squad if things don't go well. However, targeted closer to the middle rounds, as a third defender, it will be tough complain about the value regardless of the situation he finds himself in. Let others reach.
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