Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that the hockey club has signed free agent forward Jeff Hamilton to a contract for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Hamilton is expected to join the Leafs for their game tonight in Washington.
Hamilton, 31, played in 50 games in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves this season, registering a team-high 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) with 18 penalty minutes. Hamilton, a native of Englewood, Ohio, has played in 142 career NHL games for three teams including the Islanders, Blackhawks and Hurricanes. During his NHL career, which began in 2003-04, he has registered 29 goals and 42 assists for 71 points with 40 penalty minutes.
In 2003-04, the 5-10, 185-pound winger captured the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s top goal scorer with a career-high 43 goals in just 67 games as a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hamilton also led the Islanders’ AHL affiliate that season with 68 points and was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team.
From 1996 to 2001, Hamilton played 127 games for Yale University and is the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer with 173 career points (80 goals, 93 assists).