Any conversation that is focused on players stepping up their game must include Dougie Hamilton. The 26-year-old hasn’t simply been dominant, he’s arguably been the best defenseman in the entire NHL.
A career marred with spurts of mediocrity; Hamilton has delivered the goods thus far in Carolina. Spanning back to his first year with the team last season, Hamilton has over 55 points and 24 goals in 95 games. Those numbers are elite, but only tell half of the story.
This year, Hamilton has played the best hockey of his career. In only 13 games, the eight-year veteran has 16 points, six of those being goals. his offensive ability has proved exceptional, and this coaching staff has clearly relied upon that production for the team’s success.
Hamilton hasn’t just been a greater offensive force, but he has limited his penchant for defensive mistakes that led many to label him a liability. His physical style has proven useful for this team, and his added chemistry with his teammates, being birthed
from their experience playing together last season, has proved difficult for the league’s best teams to handle.
Caniacs have a special place in their heart for Hamilton, and he has rewarded them with what could become a career season; a season that could culminate in Norris consideration.