Friday, August 15, 2008

Prospect Watch 2008: Ryan "Box o' Chocolates" Hamilton sez:

Ryan Hamilton -- The undrafted 6-2, 200-pound power forward enjoyed a breakout season with Houston, increasing his scoring output from seven goals in 2006-07 to 20 last season. Hamilton dealt with injuries for a large chunk of his junior career, but has been able to stay healthy as a pro.

"He's a big, strong guy," Thompson said. "He had a good season. He has an excellent attitude. The question with him is whether he'll be able to adapt to the NHL tempo. Hopefully, he will."
Ms. Conduct sez:

I don't have much to add here. TT sums it up perfectly. Ryan is a great guy (by all accounts) and a solid hockey player who works his ass off out there. He's not a "tough guy" but he's not afraid of digging for the puck, finishing his checks, and fighting for those dirty goals in front of the net. He's a gutsy, selfless player who just got more and more valuable as the season went on last year.

Here's a great article on Ryan that gives a better sense of him and his game.

NHL? He's a bubble guy. If he continues on this path of improvement he started last season, he deserves a shot. Where Reitz was last season is where Hamilton might be this season. It's going to come down to what the needs are in Minny and how he impresses in camp.

To be honest, I had chalked up Hamilton, even as recently as the All Star Break, as a guy like Danny Irmen who'd peaked and would be a solid AHLer but not much more. Well, he found his mojo and may just prove me wrong this season:


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