Seguin has sage words of advice for Dougie Hamilton

Seguin has sage words of advice for Dougie Hamilton
January 15, 2013, 7:40 pm
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BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara has been remarkable in his praise of cant miss 19-year-old defenseman prospect Dougie Hamilton.
Theres a natural kinship, of course, between the big man blueliners with the 6-foot-9 Chara observing the 6-foot-5 Hamilton go about his business on the ice and embark on the natural development path his career will take.
The Bruins captain and Norris Trophy winning defenseman has already said that Hamilton is way better than where Chara was in his teenage years. It took Chara years of experience and coaching to learn how to utilize the strengths of the NHLs biggest body while minimizing the weaknesses.
Perhaps the difference between the two backgrounds isnt surprising given that one was a third round project out of Slovakia and the other is a top-10 draft pick with elite World Junior credentials.
Even so, Chara will be Hamiltons biggest on-ice role model to emulate in a hockey apprenticeship thats expected to last much longer than just the youngsters 2013 rookie season.
Its pretty clear that the 6-foot-9 Chara has the youngsters attention.
You can see how Chara is out there, said Hamilton. I dont get the chance to watch too much NHL hockey when Im playing, but when you watch him out there hes pretty sick. If I can learn from him and try to get better by watching him, Im going to do that as much as I can.
But the off ice times have changed for a young NHL player bursting onto the scene as a teenager a phenomenon that is happening more and more with each passing hockey season. There are Twitter, TMZ, and camera phones ready to document anything and everything that happens in the public eye.
Believe it or not Tyler Seguin becomes an important part of Hamiltons transition to the NHL at the tender age of 19 years old. Hes the closest to Hamilton age-wise on the Bruins roster, and Seguin knows what its like to be the Black and Golden boy prospect sure to be subject to suffocating scrutiny in an already challenging rookie NHL season.
Seguin had an up-and-down rookie campaign with 22 points and a minus-4 in 74 games, and found himself a healthy scratch at points when he wound up in Claude Juliens doghouse.
The trajectory of inconsistent play amid lofty expectations should be the same for Hamilton, who is being given power play looks during early camp practices and has been paired with Dennis Seidenberg. But the learning curve for a young NHL defensemen can be lengthy, and filled with teaching moments on the ice that dont always come from success.
So what is Seguins best advice to Hamilton as he goes through the same coming of age experience as the 2010 No. 2 overall pick did jumping from the OHL to the NHL two years ago?
Im sure Ill sit down and talk to him, but hes just got to have fun with the first experience stepping into an NHL team. When you first get into this league youre going to be a little bit in awe, and you just need to figure out where you fit on the team and how your game translates to this league, said Seguin, who blossomed into an All-Star performer and the Bs leading scorer in his second NHL season. You also have to have your ears open all the time, though.
There is so much learning that hes going to have to experience. Ill talk to him about it, but he just has to be open to it all and accept any young rookie hazing he might get. Its part of the journey and its a lot of fun.
Seguin said that for him the biggest adjustments were more off ice than on it: instead of skating on the OHL where guys are looking to get drafted or hook on with a college program, the NHL was full of grown men looking to treat the game like the multi-billion dollar business that it is. That meant treating it with the same discipline that you would any job in any walk of life.
It was boys to men. Guys here have kids and families and theyre fighting for their jobs and their lives. When youre at the junior level youre just fighting to get here, said Seguin. Its a different experience both on and off ice. Its the big leagues. Youre playing for your family or whatever, but youre also playing for an entire city rather than a small junior hockey town.
People are going to be talking about you all the time, and talking to you when they see you in the street. Theyre going to love you when youre doing well, and when youre not theyre going to tell you about it. Its a lot to take in, but its quite an honor. If I was him I wouldnt worry about what anybody was saying about him because guys like you in the media are going to be saying he needs to do this or that. Id tell him to delete his twitter account for the first little bit that hes in the NHL and not even look at it.
Thats probably sage advice for a teenager that will have enough on his plate in an abbreviated 48-game NHL schedule without worrying whats being said about him good or bad in the realm of social media. The Seguin orientation program for Dougie Hamilton continued on Monday night as No. 19 and Brad Marchand squired the rookie defenseman out to a Boston Celtics game at TD Garden with courtside seats, of course.
Perhaps Seguin even passed on some of those wise words of experience from his event-filled first two NHL seasons, so Hamilton can learn from the franchise forwards missteps and triumphs during that time.
Those would seem to be the first signs of true leadership shown from a maturing Seguin in his third NHL season, and one of the first real moments between two youngsters that will be the pillars of the Black and Gold franchise for years to come.