Newly signed Hamilton has shot at 2012-13 NHL job

Hamilton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — The Bruins today moved to advance 2011 first-round pick Dougie Hamilton’s career by signing the defenseman to an entry-level contract.

Hamilton is skating for the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League and currently leads all OHL defensemen with 41 points.

General manager Peter Chiarelli considers Hamilton a candidate for the NHL roster next season.

“Yeah, I do. Based on what I saw, and based on how I think he’ll develop, I think he will,” said the general manager tonight at the TD Garden.

However, Chiarelli isn’t banking on Hamilton continuing his dominant offensive performance when he reaches the game’s highest level. The Bruins expect Hamilton to be a two-way force more than anything else.

“I hope I’m wrong. A points guy for me like a D-man that’s in the scoring race,” said Chiarelli. “He’s going to put up points just because of his skill and his skating and his passing. We want him to focus on his two-way play, because we know he can do that other stuff. The other stuff isn’t his meat and potatoes; it’s his two-way play. I hope he’ll be a No. 1 defenseman, so I don’t want him to focus just solely on putting points up, because he can do that at that level.”

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