The Shea Hamilton situation
Hamilton said he was unhappy at Anchorage this season. The Winnipeg native committed to former Seawolves coach John Hill and he said his personality clashed with new coach Dave Shyiak.
Hamilton said he knew by Christmastime that this was going to be his last year in Anchorage. At the end of the season, one in which the Seawolves closed out the final three months 1-17-2, Hamilton asked for a release and it was granted to him. At that time, he faxed the release to a few schools, but UND was at the top of his list.
To his delight, UND coaches contacted him after viewing the release. He then made an official visit and committed.
"There's no doubt in my mind that North Dakota is the right place for me," Hamilton said. "I'm very excited. It's going to be a great experience for me."
Hamilton is anticipating that things will go much better in Grand Forks than they did in Anchorage. Hamilton said he sees himself as a fairly offensive player, despite his 3 goal, 4 assist total from last season.
"Those numbers aren't something I'm proud of," Hamilton said. "I don't think they show the whole story. The way our systems were, our team was in no way offensive. I think a lot of guys on that team are capable of getting 30 to 40 points in that league."
Rather, Anchorage's top overall scorers were Mark Smith and Eric Walsky (who also is looking to transfer), both of whom tallied just 15 points. The Seawolves didn't have a single 10-goal scorer last season.
By the time the second half of the season came along, Hamilton was used sparingly. He played in just two series in the final two months of the season. "Me and my coach didn't get along and he was sitting me out games," he said.
As a freshman, Hamilton played in just 19 games because of an injury, but he still led the Seawolves in power-play goals (4) and was fourth in overall goals (7).
Hamilton is ready for a new start at UND, a place only an hour and 15 minutes from his parents' home in Altona, Man. His sister also just completed school at UND.
Hamilton said he got a chance to meet a few players -- including Chris Porter, Erik Fabian and T.J. Oshie -- on his visit. He plans on living with a couple of them. He also said he is good friends with recruit Darcy Zajac and the two hang out nearly every day.
"I'm going to have to come in my first year (2007) and not make freshman mistakes," he said. "I've already gone through that. I have to come in and be an impact player."