Hamilton has enjoyed a stellar three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. This season, Hamilton has amassed 10 goals and 32 assists for 42 points and a +21 rating in 52 games while logging 22:46 of ice time per game.
Hamilton has been a perennial Norris Trophy contender for a while now, earning votes for the award given to the league’s top blueliner in each of the last four seasons. His best finish is seventh in last year’s race and is a dark horse for the trophy again this season.
Since joining Carolina in 2018, Hamilton leads all Hurricanes defensemen in goals (42), assists (79), points (121), game-winning goals (8), and shots on goal (603). 35 of his goals and 48 of his assists are at even-strength, and more even-strength scoring would largely benefit the Flyers who rank 15th in goals in that department. Hamilton’s 35 even-strength goals and 42 total goals actually lead all NHL defensemen since 2018-19 when he joined the Hurricanes.
Hamilton’s Corsi-for percentage this year is 55.8% and his on-ice 5v5 save percentage is .945, both tops among Carolina blueliners, and his overall on-ice SV% in all situations is .917. His PDO, or on-ice shooting percentage plus on-ice save percentage, is also at 102.7, another advanced stat he leads his club’s defenders in (excluding Jani Hakanpää, who has only played in 11 of Carolina’s games).
Now that could mean he has been a tad bit lucky, but Hamilton has been ridiculously responsible in his own end this season and his advanced numbers as well as his peripheral stats back it up.
The .945 5v5 SV% is fifth in the league among defensemen who have appeared in at least 30 games this season. Two Flyers actually rank at the very bottom of that list in Travis Sanheim at .881 and Phil Myers at .866. Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun both share the team lead at .913, and yes the Flyers’ poor goaltending this season factors into these numbers quite a bit, but having a stable and just downright elite presence in Hamilton would surely help them out in that department.
Hamilton is likely going to command a huge contract, and should he test the open market if Carolina doesn’t extend him before July 28th, Philadelphia should be all in on him. He’ll be 28 years-old when signing day comes, he scores a lot of goals, he rarely misses games, he’s a great defender and he’s right-handed. All these elements will give Hamilton the opportunity to sign the largest contract of his career.
Hamilton is currently tied for fifth in total scoring among all NHL defensemen this season. Couple that with his fantastic defensive play and he’s in a position where he could easily command at least $8,000,000-$9,000,000 per year. That would put him in the ballpark with players like John Carlson, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Pietrangelo, Thomas Chabot, Jacob Trouba, and Brent Burns among others, and he’s honestly better than most of those players.
Hamilton should be at the top of Philadelphia’s list this offseason. He addresses a huge need on the back end, he would alleviate the pressure off of Ivan Provorov, and he would bring a consistent presence to the blueline that we probably haven’t seen on Broad Street since Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger were here.
Get the cap space and then drive a Brinks truck of money to his house. Hand him a blank check. Chuck Fletcher, if you’re reading this, literally do whatever it takes to bring Dougie Hamilton to Philadelphia please.