It’s been a crazy journey of up’s and down’s –well mostly downs– for Zach Hamill since the Bruins took him with the eighth overall pick in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Hamill –who was taken before other first rounder’s who have found NHL success like Logan Coture, Max Pacioretty and David Perron– has spent most of his professional career in the minors playing for the Bruins AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.
Year after year Hamill was given a chance in training camp to crack the Bruins roster, but the Vancouver British Columbia native could never get over the hump. Hamill would get a call up here and there due to injuries and trades, but could never put forward the effort good enough to keep him around the big club, but things may have finally changed for the 23 year-old Hamill.
Hamill first opened eyes this season back in November when he got the call up when Rich Peverley missed back-to-back games. Hamill registered an assist in those two games, but played very well in all stages of the game.
The Bruins have once again given Hamill a shot the past two games as he has been filling in for Gregory Campbell. Hamill has had two of his best games including a beauty of an assist on Rich Peverley’s goal Tuesday night against the Kings.
Hamill’s play has been pleasant to watch, and that’s something that has not gone unnoticed by Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
“Well the one thing is, when we say he’s a first round pick, he’s a pretty skilled player and he showed that right of the bat. That was a play that NHL players make. He had a good heads-up and right on the tape, an easy tap in for Pev” [Rich Peverley] said Julien after the Bruins 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night. “He’s done that a few times for us. He’s been a good player. I was happy with him the first time he came up—certainly happy with him tonight. He’s had to play a position where he’s played most of his career, but not this year. I thought he adjusted well. He was really good in our own end as far as supporting and battling. I was really pleased with his game.”
Hamill knows that most likely when Campbell is set to return that it will his name that’s called when it’s time to clear a roster spot for the fourth-liner, but Hamill will do everything he can to make it a difficult decision for the Bruins.
“Yeah, like I said, I want to go out there and create scoring chances. If sometimes the points aren’t there, then I want to make sure those chances are. I felt that tonight, whoever I was out there with, I was going to net, trying to make some plays and create chances” said Hamill
It’s also possible that Jordan Caron–who has sat the last two games in favor of Hamill– could be the one making the trip down Route 95 to Providence.
“I don’t know, I just – like I said, I’m always such a competitive guy and it’s hard to go down, but I go down there and give my best. The thing I work on here, I feel here, is I can play all three zones, try to be a plus player up here, and kind of just go from there.”
Hamill and the Bruins travel to Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon to take on the East leading Flyers.