Just Who Is Ryan Hamilton? Get excited, Oilers fans…
- Updated: September 2, 2013
As we were nearing the end of the “Just Who Is” series, we noticed that you guys were really enjoying reading about each of the Oilers newcomers via the draft. It wasn’t long before we realized that there are more newcomers than just the rookies coming into the system. We followed that realization up with a decision to continue the “Just Who Is” series, by introducing you to ALL of the new faces headed to camp this year. We start with the former captain of the Toronto Marlies, Ryan Hamilton.
Who Is Ryan Hamilton?
Ryan Hamilton was seen, often last year with some sort of blue leaf on his crest. Whether he was suiting up for the Toronto Maple Leafs in relief of injury, or alongside head coach Dallas Eakins, captaining the Toronto Marlies to a 43-23-3 record, Ryan Hamilton made his presence felt. If you were the opposing team, on any given night you felt his presence physically. Ryan Hamilton is a big-body that knows how to throw a guy off his game with a solid hit. Though he spent most of his season in the AHL last year, the good news for Oilers fans is; when he was called up to the NHL, those numbers remained consistent. In 10 games with the Leafs this year, he managed to rack up 22 hits without spending any time in the box. That’s no easy feat. If you happen to be a teammate of Ryan Hamilton, you probably felt his presence offensively. Although he played bottom six minutes in his 10 game stint with the Leafs this year, he took credit for 2 assists. Not an overwhelming number, however-when you consider what his role was in Toronto, and relate that to some of the 4th liners in Edmonton, it would be a welcome adjustment. The question with his scoring, though; is can he make enough of an impact offensively to crack the top 6? In the AHL, he managed to light the lamp 30 times and accumulate 18 assists, in just 48 games! That’s almost 50 points! Now the AHL is not the NHL, nobody is arguing that, but you have to say that managing to get that kind of production says volumes for his potential, wouldn’t you agree? His coaches felt his presence through his leadership. A veteran of the AHL, Ryan was often seen on the bench and in practice helping the development of his younger teammates. He was always there to stick up for his teammates, indicated by his 15 fights wearing a Marlies jersey. And, he was always spoken very highly of, by his coaches. Obviously there was some connection made between Hamilton and his head coach, Dallas Eakins. The honest to goodness truth is that he probably wouldn’t be wearing 48 for the Oilers this year, were it not for Eakins being hired as the head coach in Edmonton.
Is He Going To Impact The Oilers Dressing Room In 2012-2013?
I know it is certainly not the popular opinion, but I am going to say, yes. Dallas Eakins has a tough job ahead of him. He’s going into the Oilers training camp, as the 3rd head coach in 3 years, it’s his first go at it in the NHL, and he’s doing so among a group of young talent, who for the most part, have spent the last few years together. It will not be familiar territory to say the least. I think that taking that into account, Ryan Hamilton would be a welcome face to see everyday, as Dallas Eakins is getting more comfortable. In fact, if Ryan Hamilton comes into camp and makes enough of an impact to stay in Edmonton, I would not be shocked, if Dallas Eakins gave him an “A.” It’s not something that people would agree with, but If Eakins sees something that we don’t, it wouldn’t knock me off my feet. Now, “A” or no “A,” I see a lot of surprise from Ryan Hamilton. Oilers fans are always looking for that big, physical forward that can also score; well here he is. Now the question is, how physical will he be, and how much will he score? If those numbers aren’t stellar from the jump, I think he is going to see some time in OKC. It seems to me like the organization has larger expectations for Ryan Hamilton, than the fans do. I am of the mindset that he will put up impressive enough to numbers to see 3rd line time, but I’m not willing to say that he cracks the top 6 this year, due to his inexperience in the NHL and the current Oilers top 6. I am, however VERY excited to see him play.
Here’s an example of his leadership. He may have paid for it, but he stood up for his teammate, nonetheless.
Feel free to disagree with me on twitter (@jthompson2380)
Tune in to our big LIVE radio debut, Tuesday, September 3rd! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theoilersrig/2013/09/04/the-oilers-rig-radio-show-live