Senators sign Medicine Hat Tiger

At least 10 other NHL teams were trying to sign Wacey Hamilton, a free-agent centre and captain of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

But the 20-year-old Hamilton, a native of Cochrane, Alta., chose to sign with the Senators, who have had a terrible season and embarking on a major overhaul.

It is a coincidence that the brother of Senators coach Cory Clouston, Shaun, is the head coach of the Tigers? Perhaps. But it couldn’t have helped but influence the decision of Hamilton, whom assistant general manager Tim Murray called a “late bloomer.”

Hamilton, 6-0 and 11 pounds, is in his fourth season with the Tigers. In 65 games this season, he has scored 20 goals and had career highs in assists (52), points (72) and penalty minutes (113).

He’ll stay with the Tigers until they get bumped from the Western Hockey League playoffs, then may be sent to Binghamton. That’s where the Senators expect him to start next year. They’re hoping he’ll eventually be a third-line centre with the NHL team.

“There were other teams that offered sort of the same thing but we felt Ottawa was a really good fit,” said Hamilton. 

“They are kind of rebuilding right now, so maybe there’s a bit more of an opportunity to get called up and make an impact at a younger age.”

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