“One-on-One” with San Jose Sharks prospect Freddie Hamilton
Before I begin, I would like to thank Freddie Hamilton for answering all these questions via his official Facebook page. Be sure to check out his “Fearsome Young Sharks” Prospect Profile post by clicking HERE.
Jeremy Roenick said when Gordie Howe dumped snow over his head as a kid, he knew that’s when he wanted to be a pro hockey player. What was your moment when you knew you wanted to be a pro hockey player?
“I played a lot of sports when I was younger but I always loved to play hockey the most. I think I always knew I wanted to play in the NHL, but if I was to name a moment it would be getting the chance to skate with the Maple Leafs at their skills competition when I was very young. I always looked up to Mats Sundin so it was cool to skate alongside him.”
What was it like growing up with your parents being Olympians?
“Growing up with my parents being Olympians was very cool. Me and my brother were always around the Canadian flag and were able to go to many different sporting events. Having our parents as our role models really motivates us to achieve our dreams in sport to be like them. They were also able to help us do well by teaching us many things they learned, not about hockey, but about sports in general.”
How were you able to maintain an academic average of 99% during the 2008-09 season?
“I think I just take pride in doing everything well. If I do something, I want to do it the best I can. Again, my parents are a big influence on me and always wanted me to do well in school as well.”
You led the Niagara IceDogs in community appearances and were named the IceDogs 2011 Humanitarian of the Year. What do you enjoy the most when making community appearances?
“I find spending time with the kids very fun. Some of the kids ask some pretty funny questions and most are in good moods. But the best part is definitely playing ball hockey against them.”
You missed only seven games in three seasons with the IceDogs. What do you attribute to your durability?
“I think its because I just don’t enjoy missing games and I take a lot of time to take care of my body. It stinks sitting in the stands. Everyone wants to be on the ice with your teammates, having fun.”
What has been the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“I know it sounds cliche, but ‘to have fun.’ If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you should do something else. If you’re not having fun, you won’t work as hard and get as much out of something as you can.”
What was it like to play for the IceDogs with your brother Dougie?
“It has been really fun to play with Dougie. Just being able to go through the day and spend more time with him has been nice because we have always been best friends. On the ice is fun too as we are able to know where each other are and set each other up for some nice goals.”
What have you enjoyed the most about playing in Niagara?
“Niagara is a great place to play. The most fun has been getting the chance to play alongside my brother and to have our family watch us every game.”
What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
“I feel that I am a smart, all-around player. I can score goals, set people up, play on both the power play and penalty kill, play defensively and play center or wing. I think I need to work on a lot to make the NHL, especially my strength and speed.”
Were you a Sharks fan growing up and if so, who was your favorite Shark?
“Growing up, I was always a fan of Joe Thornton and liked watching him play. So when he got traded to the Sharks, I started following the team more.”
Did being drafted in the fifth round by the Sharks motivate you to make the rest of the NHL regret their decision to pass you over?
“Yes, being drafted in the fifth round was extra motivation for me. It motivates me to prove all the teams that passed on me that they were wrong. The Sharks are known to draft a lot of good players in the late rounds. I am motivated to become one of those players.”
When you got the news the Sharks were signing you to an entry-level contract, what went through your mind and who was the first person you informed?
“I was obviously excited to be signed. It has always been my dream to make the NHL and this is a big step. Although I understand there is a long way to go, it shows the organization is happy with how I have played and is interested in me. I first told my family the news. They have been a huge influence on me and without them, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have today.”
Xbox360, Playstation 3 or Wii?
“Xbox360 with Kinect.”
What can Sharks fans expect when you take the ice?
“Sharks fans will be able to expect a good team player who will work hard to win games.”