The Boston Bruins expect to have defensive prospect Dougie Hamilton start the regular season with the team, according to team president Cam Neely on Wednesday night.
Speaking to Jimmy Murphy of ESPN Boston, Neely stated that the plan was to have Hamilton play on opening night.
Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, teams were able to have signed junior prospects play nine-games with the NHL club without burning a year on the player's entry-level contract or counting against the salary cap. After the nine games, the team could either move the prospect back to juniors or keep him on the club and in the process begin the first year of his contract.
Considering that this season is expected to be a condensed 48-games, the rule has been altered to a five-game grace period.
Hamilton was originally selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Bruins. He signed his entry-level contract with the team in December of that same year.
Hamilton is currently playing junior hockey with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League.