NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton may be two years removed from hearing his name called at the NHL Draft, but he still remembers it as if it were yesterday.
The Bruins selected the 6-foot-5, 199-pounder with the ninth choice in the first round of the 2011 Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Hamilton realizes that draft day will be a whirlwind for many of the top prospects, particularly those at the top end of everyone's draft board.
He took the time out of his busy Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule to discuss that memorable moment with NHL.com.
"I think most importantly, players just need to try and enjoy it as much as you can," Hamilton told NHL.com. "I think it's definitely a different process where you don't really know where you're going and, obviously, it means a lot where you're going to be living and things like that.
"But most of all, you have to soak it in and really enjoy it."
The Bruins acquired the pick for Hamilton, along with a 2010 first-rounder (Tyler Seguin) and second-rounder (Jared Knight, No. 32), from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Phil Kessel on Sept. 18, 2009.
"I think I can look back on it today and pretty much remember the whole day and process," he said. "I think it's a pretty special feeling, so you just really have to enjoy it and smile."
Hamilton was also asked if he recalled his experience at the NHL Scouting Combine. Hamilton excelled in one of the toughest tests, the VO2 max duration. Hamilton finished in a four-way tie for second by lasting 13 minutes on the bike test.
"I thought the Combine was more fun than the draft," Hamilton said. "It's a tough weekend, and I think just with the interviews that are held, most players are prepared for that now. You don't really know what to expect, but after a few interviews, you start to get the hang of it
"The physical stuff is something that players prepare for, too, and it's tough, but work as hard as you can … that's all you can really do."