The Leafs’ acquired Ryan Hamilton on Wednesday, January 21 in exchange for Robbie Earl. A native of Oshawa, Ont., Hamilton reported to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, and played his first home game for the team three days later when the Marlies defeated the Chicago Wolves.
Q: What was it like playing in front of a home crowd at Ricoh Coliseum for the first time?
A: It was definitely exciting. I was just trying to be relaxed all day; trying to eat a little bit slower and walk a little bit slower. I knew I was going to be full of adrenaline. It’s definitely exciting to be playing at home, it’s kind of like my hometown where I have friends and family. It was a lot of fun.
Q: What was your reaction when you first heard of the trade?
A: It caught me off guard, I was definitely shocked. It took me at least a few minutes just to realize what happened. I definitely got a lot of excitement from it. It’s definitely a great experience for me to be able to play for the Maple Leafs’ organization.
Q: Was your former Barrie Colts teammate Todd Perry one of the first players that you talked to, when you came on board?
A: Yes, Perry and I played in Barrie for a couple of years. It’s nice to know a familiar face when you come to a new team, because obviously you’re a little bit nervous meeting new guys.
Q: What kind of a dressing room is this to walk into?
A: There’s definitely a lot of good veteran leadership in here. I’m really enjoying it so far.
Q: What kind of a hockey player are you, personally?
A: I just try to work hard and do a lot of the little things. I just kind of use my frame down low in the offensive zone, and take pucks to the net as much as I can. I just try to work really hard out there.
Marlies coach Greg Gilbert looks forward to having more of Hamilton in the team’s lineup:
“Ryan’s an up-and-down winger. He’s a big strong winger that can skate. He finishes his checks. He’s very detail-oriented. I know Ryan from when he played up in Barrie in junior, when I was coaching in Mississauga. I always liked the way he plays, he’s a competitve kid. He works hard, he’s willing to learn and he’s very coachable. We’ve only had him for a couple of games, but I think he’ll be a good addition to our organization.”