ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: Ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton by the Boston Bruins poses for a photo portrait during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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The Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp opened Friday, with draft picks Dougie Hamilton and Alexander Khokhlachev being featured. But the real focus was on a number of returnees, most notably forwards Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, defensemen Tommy Cross and David Warsofsky and goaltending prospect Zane Gothberg.
Knight and Spooner gained lots of accolades for their long stay in last year's Bruins training camp, in which they were two of the last cuts that the team made. Despite their diminutive stature, both Knight and Spooner are strong skaters with killer shots and great vision. Knight especially is known for his fearlessness on the ice, crashing the net at will - he nearly decapitated goaltender Michael Hutchinson early in drill during Friday's on-ice workouts, causing the netminder to leave the ice early.
Of course, most of the eyes are on Hamilton, whom the Bruins drafted with the ninth overall pick in last month's draft, and has already been touted as the answer to Boston's puck-moving problems.
He's not there yet. Hamilton struggled in his first few days of camp, looking a little weak on his skates and at times flummoxed by the skill and speed around him. But paired with Boston College's Cross on Saturday, he started to come into his own, handling the puck with skill and leaving the dirty work to Cross - strange, since Hamilton's actually a taller body than Cross, even though he gives up about 20 pounds.