The Bruins' first-round pick in 2007, at eighth overall no less, has struggled mightily in his brief pro career. A thumb injury limited him for much of his first full pro season in 2008-09, as he managed just 13-13-26 totals in 65 games after leading the Western Hockey League with a 32-61-93 line in his draft year in 2006-07 and following that with 26-49-75 totals in 2007-08.
He did bounce back a bit last year, putting together a 14-30-44 campaign in 75 games in Providence and earning an assist in his NHL debut in Boston's regular-season finale in Washington.
But those gains were erased by a mediocre camp showing and a dismal start to this season in Providence. Hamill had no goals and just one assist in eight games in October, and has even been a healthy scratch a couple of times this season.
But Hamill has finally come alive of late. He has points in five of his last six games, and put up a goal and four assists, along with nine shots and a plus-4 rating, in three games this past week. Providence scored just seven total goals in those games, with Hamill factoring in five of them, including an assist on the game-winner in the P-Bruins' only win.
Hamill's overall numbers still aren't pretty, though his 2-17-19 line is tied for second on the team and at plus-2 through 31 games he's one of just three current players on the roster that is a plus. It's not quite enough to get him back into our Top 10 Prospects List, but Hamill is knocking on the door and another week or two like that could earn him a spot. To find out who is currently ranked in the Top 10, read on.
1 Last week: 11. Jordan Caron, LW/RW
Caron finally scored his goal in the AHL in his 10th game with Providence, and also added an assist on Jeremy Reich's game-winner in the third period in a 2-1 win at Bridgeport on Sunday. Caron now has 1-4-5 totals and is a minus-5 in 11 games with Providence.
2 Last week: No. 32. Jared Knight, C/RW Knight had a huge week to leap over fellow OHLer Ryan Spooner. Knight's London squad played just twice, but scored 15 goals in the two games with Knight factoring in six of them. He had a shorthanded goal and three assists in a 7-4 win at Sarnia, then a power-play goal and another assist as the Knights completed the sweep of the home-and-home set with an 8-4 win over Sarnia in London. Knight now has 16-24-40 totals and is a plus-4 in 35 games.
3 Last week: No. 23. Ryan Spooner, C
Spooner picked up one goal in two games this week, but couldn't prevent Kingston from falling 5-3 at Brampton and 2-1 against Mississauga. Spooner is still averaging more than a point a game with 20-17-37 totals in 32 games, though he is a minus-5 on the season.
4 Last week: No. 44. Joe Colborne, C Colborne had a goal in last Friday's 7-3 loss to Manchester, but didn't pick up any other points in the weekend's three games. He is still tied for second in scoring on Providence with 8-11-19 totals, but is also a minus-8 in 34 games in his first pro season.
5 Last week: No. 55. Max Sauve, C/LW Sauve finally went cold this week, going without a point and finishing a minus-3 in three games. He had just two shots and picked up his first penalty of the year on a tripping call. Sauve still has 7-3-10 totals and is even with 34 shots through 15 games, having missed much of the season with a wrist injury.
6 Last week: No. 66. Jamie Arniel, C Arniel also saw his offensive production dry up this week with no points and a minus-3 rating in three games. He also had just a single shot in each of the first two games, but turned in a more customary effort with four shots in Sunday's win at Bridgeport. Arniel still leads Providence with 14-10-24 totals and 117 shots in 33 games this year.
7 Last week: No. 97. Ryan Button, D Button continued to pad his point totals with two more assists in three games this week, and was also a plus-2 for the week. He remains one of the best puck-moving defense prospects in a system that has stockpiled quite a few potential future NHL blueliners in recent years. For the season, Button now has 3-19-22 totals with 31 PIMs and a minus-2 rating through 42 games.
8 Last week: No. 78. Matt Bartkowski, D Bartkowski didn't have a point in three games this week, finishing a minus-2 with six shots. He was the Bruins' final cut on defense in camp, but his first pro season in Providence has shown he's not quite as close to making the leap to the NHL as it may have seemed back in September. Still, Bartkowski, who has 4-8-12 totals and is a minus-8 in 32 games, has a bright future ahead of him once he hones his skills with some additional seasoning in the AHL.
9 Last week: No. 89. Yury Alexandrov, D Alexandrov didn't play in Saturday's 6-2 loss at Connecticut, but rebounded with a goal and a plus-2 night when he returned to the lineup for Sunday's 2-1 win at Bridgeport. There have been plenty of growing pains in his first season in North America, but Alexandrov has the tools to eventually put it all together. He now has 5-7-12 totals and is a minus-4 in 32 games.
10 Last week: No. 1010. Craig Cunningham, C Cunningham holds off Hamill for the final spot in the top 10 for another week after making the most of his lone game this past week. Playing in his third game with Portland since being traded from Vancouver, Cunningham scored all three goals for the WinterHawks in a 4-3 loss to Seattle. Cunningham's hat trick gives him 3-1-4 totals in three games with Portland and 13-36-49 totals in 39 games overall, good for a tie for seventh in the WHL scoring race.