Under GM Peter Chiarelli, the Boston Bruins have demonstrated a preference for drafting players out of the OHL. Of their six prospects developing at the junior level, all but one are playing in the league and among that group is are prized prospects Dougie Hamilton and Malcolm Subban. The lone non-OHL, junior prospect is defenseman Matt Benning who is playing in the USHL for the Dubuque Fighting Saints, a team Chiarelli happens to co-own.
Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara Ice Dogs
Acquired: 1st round (9th overall) in 2011
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton has picked up right where he left off last season, dominating the OHL. Hamilton garnered Defenseman of the Month honors for November, on the strength of 21 points and a plus-11 in 13 games. He capped off the month with a tour de force performance for Niagara against Sudbury on November 24th in which he scored a goal, added two assists in regulation, and then scored the shootout winner to beat the Wolves 6-5. On the season Hamilton has eight goals and 33 assists through 32 games.
While Hamilton's offensive output continues to be impressive, it is his defensive game he is focused on improving this season. Hamilton has been instructed by the Bruins to be less concerned about points and to play a more defensively responsible game.
Should the NHL season resume, Hamilton has been designated by the Bruins as the one and only player they'd pull out of Juniors, to immediately report to training camp. Until that day comes, Hamilton will continue racking up points and working towards playing a more disciplined, defensively responsible game.
Hamilton is currently slated to represent his country at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville Bulls
Acquired: 1st round (24th overall) in 2012
Malcolm Subban continues to improve and impress. He has cut his goals against down from 2.50 to 2.17 and is among the top 10 in practically every other meaningful statistical category held for a goaltender. He is also the league's best goalie when it comes to the shootout, posting an impressive 5-0 record. Subban still has to work on his rebound control as his quickness and athleticism bail him out of a lot of unnecessary second-chance opportunities, but the rest of his game has been excellent. His strong performance in November earned him the OHL's Goaltender of the Month Award.
Subban is among the three goaltenders scheduled to represent Canada at the 2013 WJCs.
Seth Griffith, C/W, London Knights
Acquired: 5th Round (131 overall) in 2012
Since the draft, Griffith has been nothing short of outstanding. He kicked off the season with a five goal, six point outburst that garnered him Player of the Week honors, and currently sits in third place in the OHL scoring race. He has spent most of the season playing on a line with Max Domi, who is a potential top-15 pick in 2013, and the two have outstanding chemistry. Griffith will have to continue to work on his strength to compensate for his physical shortcomings, but his hockey sense should allow him to be an excellent complementary player on a scoring line in the NHL.
Anthony Camara, LW, Barrie Colts
Acquired: 3rd round (81 overall) in 2011
Anthony Camara has seemingly come out of nowhere this season. The little known pugilist from Toronto had 33 points all of last season, and had only put up 29 points in the two previous seasons combined. This year, he has 40 points in his first 30 games which is good for seventeenth in the OHL.
The difference for Camara this season has been opportunity. He went being the energy player in the bottom-six, to the power forward on the top line. He has always been a strong skater but playing alongside Mark Scheifele (WPG) has really brought out Camara's offensive game to the fore, and allowed him to showcase his offensive skills and mindset.
Camara is scheduled to represent Canada at the 2013 WJC.
Cody Payne, RW, Plymouth Whalers
Acquired: 5th round (145 overall) in 2012
Cody Payne is another Bruins prospect who really stepped up his offensive game and garnered a lot of attention from Bruins fans early in the season. After scoring just six goals in his junior career, Payne has scored nine through his first 33 games this season. The aptly named Payne is one of the OHL's most intimidating physical players, combining a heavy hitting game with an eagerness to drop the gloves. But perhaps Payne's best attribute is his work ethic. His increased goal production is a direct result of the extra time he put in working on his shot and developing better habits around the goal.
Matt Benning, D, Dubuque Fighting Saints
Acquired: 6th round (175 overall) in 2012
Matt Benning has acquitted himself quite well in his first season in the USHL. Through 23 games he has 10 points, a plus-12, and has been a driving force in several of Dubuque's wins. Benning needs to work on his mobility and is a little undersized at 6'0, but he is extremely solid at a hefty 205 pounds and is tough to play against in the dirty areas.
Benning is expected to join Northeastern University in 2013-14.