Zach Hamill who the Boston Bruins drafted in 2007 in the first round is no longer a member of the Bruins organization. The first few years of his stay were more eventful for their injuries than their production. Two years ago he emerged to lead the Providence Bruins in scoring. Last season he spend a good deal of the season with the Boston squad, but was in and out of the lineup. His role was undefined (as were many this year) and he was played up and down the lineup. He may not have managed to score, but I can’t think of a single game he wasn’t all in. That was highly unusual for the 2011-12 Boston Bruins.
Chris Bourque, yes son of The Bourque was a fourth pick in 2004 of the Capitals. Taken at #33 he was off the board 30 and 31 picks before the Bruins first two selections of that draft, David Krejci and Martin Karsums. Bourque accumulated 93 points to lead the AHL in scoring in the regular season in just 73 games for the Hershey Bears. In what seems to be a common occurrence for Capitals picks, the former Cushing Academy and Boston player, absconded to the KHL for a season. Well, part of a season. He only played eight games for Mytishchi Atlant before once again decamping, his next landing spot was the Swedish Elite League, and their Lugano team where he put up 33 points in 39 games.
In a head to head comparison the two are pretty similar, although Bourque is the elder by a couple years. Bourque carries a bit more bulk and has had more success (with better teammates) in the minors than Hamill. However in the NHL while neither has been in danger of needing to book a flight to Vegas for the NHL awards, here Hamill shows better. In 33 career NHL games Bourque has just four points. Those four points would have been garnered during the Capitals offensive high point under former coach Bruce Boudreau. Hamill in 20 games under the defensive thumb of Julien has also accumulated four points and one third the penalties.
The question of what happens next is still well up in the air. Hamill will be an RFA in need of a qualifying offer and contract with by July first. Bourque will be a UFA on the same day. At this point neither player has covered themselves with NHL glory, and both organization could be ready to move on entirely. The Bruins brass include Cam Neely and Don Sweeney who both played with Chris’s father, and would have known him for years, but that doesn’t mean either is ready to do anyone any favors. The Capitals have had yet another early end to their post season, and have had a decidedly mix bag from former Boston Bruins. Hendricks and Knuble have contributed, Wideman is unlikely to be resigned, and Jurcina for example spent time with the Capitals before going to the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.
It is entirely possible both players will not be playing for the teams that just traded them. The Bruins for their part could be looking to clear contracts, the Capitals while arguably in need of depth centers, might not be looking in exactly the direction of Hamill.