Height: 6’6” | Weight: 229 | Born: June 17, 1993 (age: 25)
Birthplace: Toronto, ON, CAN | Acquired: Traded from Calgary with Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox for Noah Hanafin and Elias Lindholm; June 23, 2018
Assets: Has a big, lanky frame, a good point shot and all-around ability. Is capable of putting up excellent numbers from the back end. Can quarterback an NHL power play, too.
Flaws: Despite his 6-6 frame, he doesn’t usually punish opposing forwards physically. Therefore, he needs to keep more opponents honest. Lacks consistency from game to game.
Career potential: Talented, inconsistent all-round defenseman with some upside
Why You Should Know Who He Is: Hamilton is an effective producer from the blue line. His 18 goals lead all Carolina defensemen and in fact are almost as many as the next two defenseman – Justin Faulk (11) and Jaccob Slavin (eight) combined. Only Toronto’s Morgan Rielly has more goals by a defenseman this season. Despite the fact that Hamilton was a ninth-overall draft pick in the 2011 entry draft by the Boston Bruins, Carolina is his third team and has been traded twice, both times at or near the annual NHL draft (in 2013 to Calgary for a first and two second round draft picks) and again in 2018 in the trade referenced above. Nevertheless, he does have a goal-scorer’s touch. He is one of only seven defensemen in the league to record at least ten goals in each of the last five seasons. Hamilton is 2-5-7, minus-3 in 17 career games against Washington.
How the Caps can stop him: It might sound a bit obvious or cliché, but get in his shooting lanes. In the four games played between the clubs this season, Hamilton had a total of 20 shot attempts. Of that total, the Caps blocked ten of them. Only once in the three games did Hamilton get more than three shots to the net, and it happened to be the only game in which he scored a goal. The Caps might further slow him down in the offensive end by taking advantage of his relatively non-physical nature, making him play defense deep and close to the net at the other end. And, watch his ice time. More is not better with Hamilton. Carolina is 7-9-3 in the 19 games this season in which he skated at least 21:30.