Dougie Hamilton (Defense) - Midseason Grade: A-
Our Individual Grades:
This was Dougie Hamilton’s best year as a pro and he improved on his 43 point season last year with a 50 point effort in 2016-17. There were trade rumours surrounding Hamilton for a good part of the early season and that seemed to get his season going. Hamilton paired very well with Mark Giordano and the two were a dominant defensive team. I still marvel at what the Flames didn’t have to give up to get him and he looks like he’s settled in and ready to lead the Flames blue line for years to come.
This was the year that all the noise created by the haters could be put to rest. Dougie Hamilton is an elite defenseman and this season he was given the opportunity to truly show that. Paired with Mark Giordano, the tandem formed one of the best pairings in the entire NHL. Hamilton posted 50 points, being a consistent offensive threat both at even-strength and on the powerplay. He was one of the best possession defensemen in the entire NHL. Really the only thing you would like to see a bit differently from Dougie would be less stick infraction penalties, but that is a minor quibble in the grand scheme of everything. Still just 23, he has yet to reach his prime and the Flames will reap the rewards of Brad Treliving’s greatest acquisition for at least 4 more seasons.
Usually, one player in a pairing makes the other look better than they really are. The Gio-Hamilton pairing was a rare case where both made each other way better once they were paired together and became arguably the best pairing in the entire NHL. Hamilton finished ninth in the league for scoring among defencemen, and at only 23, there’s much more to come. There are defensive aspects of the game that we’d like to see Hamilton improve on, but again, he’s still young and most defensemen don’t hit their peak until at least 30. Hamilton has also managed to stay healthy over the last few seasons which has been crucial to the team’s success. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Hamilton could very well be the best player on the Flames in a few years.
Hamilton was the Flames best defenseman and a top ten defenseman in the league. That’s all there is to that. Some will say his penalties somehow negate that - those people are dumb humans and you should not listen to them.
Our Final Grade: A+
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