2007-08: Freddie Hamilton was the first round choice of the Niagara IceDogs at the 2008 OHL Priority Selection.
2008-09: In his OHL rookie season, Hamilton played in 65 games for the IceDogs, scoring 10 goals and adding 18 assists for 28 points. Also played in 12 playoff games, netting 2 goals and adding 2 assists.
2009-10: In his second season with the IceDogs, Hamilton scored 25 goals and added 30 assists for 55 points in 64 games. He played in five playoff games for the IceDogs, netting 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points. Hamilton played for Team Canada at the 2010 World under-18 Championship.
2010-11: Hamilton was the second-leading scorer for the Niagara IceDogs behind 2011 Islanders’ first-round pick Ryan Strome. Hamilton scored 38 goals with 45 assists and was +25 with 20 PMs in 68 games. Niagara had the OHL’s third best record and reached the playoff semifinals. In 14 playoff games Hamilton scored 4 goals with 10 assists and was -2 with 4 PMs. Hamilton’s younger brother Dougie, a second-year defenseman for Niagara, was selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft by Boston. Freddie Hamilton signed a three-year, entry-level contract with San Jose in May 2011.
2011-12: Hamilton played less games this season but had more points again (35g, 51a) while improving his defensive game with a plus 29 rating in 61 OHL games. The physical centerman can play the shutdown role and plays on both the specialty team units for the Ice Dogs. The quick skating forward represented Canada at the WJC Championship and played a significant role during the tournament against the oppositions’ best forwards. Hamilton and his Niagara Ice Dogs had a long playoff run to the OHL Finals where the team lost the series 4-1 against the London Knights. In the three earlier rounds, the two-way centerman was a force at both end of the rink but was shut down by the Knights defenders in the finals. He finished third overall in the OHL playoffs scoring race, putting up seven goals along with 17 assists and a plus two rating in 20 playoff games.
2012-13: Hamilton played 76 games for the Sharks’ AHL affiliate in Worcester in his first pro season. Steadily seeing more responsibility as the season went on, he scored 13 goals with 13 assists and was -9 with 16 penalty minutes. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division.
Freddie Hamilton is a shutdown forward with some offensive upside. The physical centerman reads and reacts to the play very well, and he constantly puts himself in a position to succeed on the defensive side of the spectrum. He is versatile and could feasibly play an NHL top-six role, but more in a defensive capacity in an attempt to shutdown the oppositions best. A top-nine role is more realistic.
Hamilton has significant leadership qualities, on and off the ice. He also plays well along the boards and in the corners and is a hard working battler. He will need to continue to build up strength in the weight room to excel at the NHL level in this category.
His puck skills leave a little bit to be desired given his raw ability away from the puck, but even despite below average puck protection he has very accurate wrist shot that will keep teams honest.
Hamilton will continue his professional career in Worcester next season. He will need to show he is capable of playing more of a two-way game by demonstrating his offensive pedigree or face potentially being pigeon-holed as a shutdown specialist.