Dougie Hamilton: Colorado Avalanche Free Agent Potential


Earlier this week we looked at Colorado Avalanche player Freddie Hamilton. Inevitably when you talk about Freddie, his younger but more accomplished brother comes up — Dougie Hamilton. Dougie just completed his third year playing defense for the Boston Bruins.

Should the Colorado Avalanche attempt to sign Dougie Hamilton? Besides the charm of having the Hamilton brothers on the same team, Dougie brings a lot to the table. He’s a restricted free agent right now. He carried a $894,167 cap hit last season. However, the Hockey Writers assess his upcoming contract as high as  $4.5 million. That seems a little steep, but the Avalanche might have to throw $3.5 to $4 million at him.

Would it be worth the sacrifices the Avs would have to make to sign Dougie Hamilton?

Two-Way Defense

Dougie Hamilton is a good two-way defenseman. He’s not going to put up numbers like a Tyson Barrie, but his offensive production is very proficient for a young defenseman — 10 goals and 32 assists in 72 games last season for the Boston Bruins.

A number that stands out for me is that he’s a shooting sort — 188 shots on goal last season. To put that in perspective, Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog led the Avalanche in shots with 214 in 82 games.

Last season Hamilton recorded 2.1 blocks per 60 minutes and 4.1 hits per 60. Dougie needs a little improvement in that area — the Avs’ premier two-way defenseman, Erik Johnson, recorded 4.9 hits per 60 and an impressive 5.6 blocked shots per 60. Johnson has four years’ experience on Hamilton, though  — and that’s key for a defenseman.

By the way, speaking of Landeskog, Dougie only has one NHL fight to his name, and it’s with our captain:

Power Play Potential

Dougie Hamilton is a puck-moving defenseman. He can quarterback the power play. Of his 10 goals last season, five of them came on the power play. The Colorado Avalanche struggled with the power play last season. Imagine what would have happened if the Avs’ would have had five more power play goals!

In fact, Hamilton’s first-ever NHL goal came on the power play:

Hamilton’s shot from the point may not be quite the bomb we’re used to seeing from Johnson and D-partner Jan Hejda. However, Dougie’s that shot is pretty accurate.

Because of Hamilton’s ability on the power play, he got decent ice time from the Bruins last season — 21.33 minutes average. That’s not too far off from Avalanche leader Erik Johnson and his ~25 minutes per game.

Size and Speed

Head coach Patrick Roy has talked about wanting to increase the Avalanche’s size while maintaining their speed.

Dougie Hamilton is 6-foot-5. It’s a lanky 6-foot-5 — he’s only got 212 pounds on that frame. However, that height means he’s got a long stride. Long strides translate into speed.

While Hamilton could use to bulk up a little — not much to keep his stamina and speed — he’d still add the size and speed coach Roy prizes.

Dougie Hamilton Down Side

Speaking of bulking up, Hamilton doesn’t throw even the weight he has around. He’s not a real physical player, preferring his finesse game.

With Dougie Hamilton, the price tag is going to be a major detriment. Johnson himself is only due to make $4.25 million. The Avalanche have their structure, and if no player can make more than Matt Duchene, then surely no defenseman can make more than Johnson. They’d have to sign Hamilton for under $4 million — and at that price, the Boston Bruins could probably afford him.


Dougie Hamilton is yet another righty, which doesn’t make him an ideal partner for either Erik Johnson or Tyson Barrie, both also right-hand shots. However, Dougie’s got the size and speed to keep up with Johnson and the two-way acumen to ground Barrie.

Nonetheless, even if the Colorado Avalanche spent the time to make an offer sheet on Hamilton, it’s doubtful they could offer enough to pry him out of Boston. Too bad — it really would have been special to have both Hamilton brothers on the same team.

Next: Should the Avs Trade for Brent Burns?

Next: Should the Avs Trade for Dustin Byfuglien?

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