If the Bruins are to extend their year past Saturday’s regular season finale in Tampa Bay, they will have to do so without Dougie Hamilton.
The 21-year-old defenseman won’t travel with the Bruins on their three-game road trip to close out the year, Bruins coach Claude Julien said after practice on Tuesday. Hamilton has missed the past seven games, but has skated individually the past two days.
Hamilton has been absent from the Bruins lineup since being hit by Florida’s Scottie Upshall and Nick Bjunstad in the Bruins’ shootout loss to the Panthers on March 21. Announced only as an “upper-body injury” by the team, Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (yes, you read that right) told reporters on April 1 that Hamilton was suffering from broken ribs (news apparently relayed to Olynyk by Hamilton himself).
Prior to the injury, Hamilton had been enjoying his finest season as an NHL player. Playing all 72 of the Bruins games, he had scored 10 goals with 32 assists, with his 42 points leading all Bruins defensemen, while he trails only forwards Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Milan Lucic, and Carl Soderberg for the team-lead in points.
Zach Trotman was called up from Providence to fill in for Hamilton. Trotman scored his first NHL goal on April 2 in Detroit, while he’s also tallied four assists in 24 games this season.