Scout calls Dougie Hamilton “the best defenseman outside the NHL”

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The Toronto Star published a glowing profile of Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton today that’s sure to make Leafs fans feel fantastic.

In case you don’t follow junior hockey too closely, Hamilton led all OHL blue-liners with 72 points in 50 games during the regular season and was named the league’s most outstanding defenseman for his efforts. On top of that, the big 18-year-old, who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves either, has 23 points in 19 playoff games.

Of course, Hamilton is perhaps best known as one of the three players the Boston Bruins drafted with the proceeds from the Phil Kessel trade to Toronto. (Tyler Seguin and Jared Knight were the other two.)

“I think Dougie Hamilton is the best defenseman outside the NHL,” Dennis MacInnis, director of amateur scouting for International Scouting Service, told the Star. “He’s got a terrific future in Boston. Can you imagine him and Zdeno Chara on the point on the Bruins power play?”

No disrespect to Joe Corvo.

Well, some disrespect.

As for the Leafs’ angle, it’s actually unfair to say GM Brian Burke traded away Hamilton. After all, Kessel scored 32 goals in 2010-11. Without him, Toronto might’ve finished much lower than 22nd and ended up with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog or Sean Couturier.