After being taken with the ninth overall pick in 2011, Dougie Hamilton could make the leap to the NHL directly from the OHL in 2012-13. He’s coming off a great 2011-12 campaign and shone in the Canada-Russia Challenge.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli thinks highly of Hamilton, but it still wouldn’t surprise him if Hamilton hit some rough patches along the way, according to the Boston Globe.
“I saw him play in the Russian-Canada challenge series this summer,” said Chiarelli. “He’ll have his hiccups, because he’s young  and he’ll be new to the pro game, but he’s an outstanding prospect.
“He’s got size [6 feet 5 inches, 200 pounds], strength. A smart and skilled player with range. The danger is you oversell him, of course. But he’s very good.”
The Bruins have enjoyed some recent success developing another very talented prospect straight out of the OHL: Tyler Seguin.
Seguin left something to be desired in his rookie season and the Bruins limited his playing time, but he broke out last season. Hamilton could end up going down a similar path.
“No question, he’ll have to cope with a feeling-out period,” said Chiarelli. “But I think you’ll see him evolve quickly into a well-rounded player.”
Of course, it’s hard to talk about the upcoming season and not think about the fact that the current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15. However, it’s worth noting that the NHL will reportedly have access to CHL players even if the season starts late.