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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Curtis Hamilton

20-year-old forward adjusting to his pro career with the OKC Barons

Thursday, 22.12.2011 / 2:58 PM / Future Watch
By Chris Wescott  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Curtis Hamilton
When Curtis Hamilton was selected in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 
2010 NHL Entry Draft, there was plenty of buzz about a young winger with 
a nose for the net. Now in his first season as a professional, Hamilton
 is adjusting to the American Hockey League.



He is a consistent contributor to an Oklahoma City Barons roster that
 currently sits at the top of the league standings. But his season didn't
 start that way. The OKC coaching staff thought Hamilton would benefit
 from sitting a couple of games and watching the pro game from press row.

"Early on in the season I did sit out quite a few games and it did have 
its benefits I think," Hamilton said. "No one likes to sit out but
 getting a chance to... watch the game, take everything in it's been good 
for my development. I think it's been really good for me."

Since that time, Hamilton has appeared in 23 games for OKC, scoring two
 goals and tallying five assists. He has played regularly for the Barons flashing signs of progress and promise.
Hamilton is starting to find confidence at the pro level.

"I think early in the season he was trying to find his way," OKC head 
coach Todd Nelson said. "It was a situation like with any young player,
we had a lot of numbers. He was in the lineup, he was out of the lineup.
Lately he's been able to play pretty regular so with that, he gained
 confidence."

Confidence is a key issue for Hamilton as a young player making the jump 
from the WHL to the AHL. The 20-year-old's confidence has continued to
 build and build with each game.



"I think everything has got a little better," Hamilton said, "I think the 
coaches have a bit more confidence in me and I feel a little bit more
 comfortable out there. Earlier on... I was kind of sitting out games so 
just to go in and know you've got a chance to play in the lineup kind of 
gives you some more confidence in your play especially. So I think
 that's really showing."

"I think with him trying to find himself, early in the year he was a bit
 tentative," said Nelson."(He was) just trying to figure things out. Now
 he's more comfortable in his surroundings."

In his final season with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, Hamilton lit
 the lamp 26 times and totaled 56 assists in 62 games. While the jump to
 the pros is a big one, Hamilton says that his time in Saskatoon helped
 prepare him for the AHL.

"The WHL style of play is a lot similar to the pro style... Everyone up 
here is a lot stronger and the puck moves faster but the way the 
schedule is made out with 72 games down there it's similar and the 
travel on the bus... I think that I wouldn't be the player I am today 
without going through the WHL."
Hamilton put up good numbers in junior with the Blades.

For Hamilton, the future is bright. He has good size at 6-2, 205 pounds and he has been successful nearly everywhere he has played. He finished 
last season with a plus-minus of +48 and earned a silver medal each of
 the last two years playing for Team Canada in the World Junior
 Championships.



The Barons and the Edmonton Oilers have nothing but high hopes for 
Hamilton at the professional level.



"He's a big guy," said Nelson."He has a nose for the net and he's a very 
smart hockey player. With that intelligence... I think that's going to 
carry him a long way."

It's only a matter of time and development before Hamilton shows off his 
talents at the professional level.

"Right now, we like his progress with where he's at and we've just got
 to continue to work with him. I think moving forward that he's a 
big body with intelligence and that's a pretty rare thing."

Forwards


Name age GP G A P +/- PIM team
Cameron Abney   20 20 1 4 5  -2 93 Stockton Thunder (ECHL)
Mark Arcobello   23 29 3 14 17 +9 10 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   24 24 3 5 8   2 4 Novokuznetsk Metallurg
Philippe Cornet   21 24 15 3 18 +6 9 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   19 23 9 11 20 +4 19 Kootenay ice (WHL)
Travis Ewanyk   18 - - - - - - edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Josh Green   33 15 5 7 12 +5 19 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Curtis Hamilton   20 23 2 5 7   0 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Teemu Hartikainen   21 19 8 5 13  +1 8 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Tanner House   25 27 4 5 9 +9 11 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Kellen Jones   21 16 5 9 14  0 16 quinnipiac university
Ryan Keller   27 30 9 12 21 +10 20 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Milan Kytnar   22 7 0 1 1 -3 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Ryan Martindale   20 23 4 8 12 -5 6 stockton thunder (ECHL)
Linus Omark   24 7 1 6 7 +2 4 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Ryan O'Marra   24 27 5 7 12 +9 44 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Kristians Pelss   19 34 13 12 25 +19 48 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 28 4 5 9 -8 22 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Toni Rajala   20 27 9 5 14 -4 10 ilves tampere (sm-liiga)
Liam Reddox   25 31 7 9 16 -10 16 vaxjo hc (SEL)
Tobias Rieder   18 27 21 14 35 +12 8 kitchener rangers (OHL)
Hunter Tremblay   25 29 5 6 11  +4 17 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Antti Tyrvainen   22 10 0 3 3 +5 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Chris VandeVelde   24 30 3 6 9 -1 8 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Defencemen
Name age GP G A P +/- PIM team
Kyle Bigos   22 13 1 6 7 0 53 merrimack college
Jeremie Blain   19 28 6 17 23 +6 54 acadie-bathurst titan (QMjhl)
Taylor Chorney   19 16 3 5 8  3 4 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Brandon Davidson   20 37 8 21 29 +10 48 regina pats (wHL)
Martin Gernat   18 31 7 18 25 +23 26 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Oscar Klefbom   18 17 0 0 0   0 2 farjestads bk karlstad (SEL)
Martin Marincin   19 28 3 13 16 -3 25 prince george cougars (WHL)
Johan Motin   22 10 0 0 0  +3 10 Timra ik (seL)
David Musil   18 35 1 15 16 +8 69 vancouver giants (WHL)
Jeff Petry   23 2 0 1 1 +1 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Alex Plante   22 28 1 10 11 +13 63 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Dillon Simpson   18 18 0 7 7 0 4 u. of north dakota
Colten Teubert   21 16 2 4 6 +5 31 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Goalies
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
Tyler Bunz   19 31 19 8 4 2.53 .922 medicine hat tigers (WHL)
Yann Danis   30 18 13 4 0 2.20 .927 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Samu Perhonen   18 - - - - - - Jyp ht jyvaskyla (sm-liiga)
Olivier Roy   20 14 4 7 3 2.75 .912 stockton thunder (echl)
Frans Tuohimaa   20 16 6 5 5 2.52 .903 jokerit helsinki (sm-liiga)
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